Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

Cuomo blasts Senate Republicans on ACA vote, Log Bay Day officially canceled, public hearing today for Troy movie theater

Cuomo on health care vote
Andrew Cuomo blasted the Senate on Tuesday for a procedural vote to move forward with an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying the Republican proposals put forward to replace the ACA would "devastate our health care system and have a disastrous impact on New York." [NYSOP]

Guilty plea in kayaking death
The woman charged with tampering intentionally drowning her fiancé by tampering with his kayak on the Hudson pleaded guilty on Monday to a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide. [TU]

Log Bay Day officially canceled
Log Bay Day on Lake George was officially cancelled by the Lake George Park Commission on Tuesday, a year after the fatal boat crash that claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl. Warren County officials say they are monitoring social media efforts to move the party to another part of the lake, but they don't expect problems. [TWCN][TU]


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Move toward paid family leave for state employees, Troy police turmoil, Commisso takes top spot in mayoral race fundraising period, the principal who was "the man"

Paid family leave
New York State's new paid family leave law takes effect in 2018 -- but it doesn't apply to public employees, though a benefit could be available through collective bargaining. The Cuomo administration says it will offer the benefit to state employees starting January 1 if their unions choose to opt in. [TU]

Troy police
+ A look at the administrative-, discipline-, and labor-related strife involving the Troy Police Department right now. [TU]
+ Citing crime in Troy, state Assemblyman (and Rensselaer County exec candidate) Steve McLaughlin is criticizing the Cuomo admin for deploying 200 state troopers to New York City, which he says could compromise coverage of areas upstate. [Troy Record]

State Police in Albany
The Albany Police Department/State Police joint patrols are set to start this week. [Spectrum]

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Scrutiny of health care in Albany County jail death, arrest in fatal Troy stabbing, spotlight on buildings at former convention center site, a big lift

Scrutiny of Albany County jail death
Brendan Lyons looks into the 2014 death of a man in the Albany County jail in an episode in which representatives of the private contractor running medical services at the jail appear to have let the man's condition spiral downward over many hours. [TU]

Shooting in Albany
Albany police say responding officers found two men with gunshot wounds in their legs Saturday night just off Second Ave (area map). [APD]

Arrest in fatal Troy stabbing
Troy police say they've arrested a 51-year-old man for the fatal stabbing in a residence on Oakwood Ave earlier this month. An hours-long standoff preceded the Friday night arrest. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Sentencing in murder of Troy official, fatal fire in Saratoga Springs, surge of applications for Excelsior Scholarship, a medium-sized key to the city

Sentencing in murder of Troy official
Joseph Vandenburgh -- convicted of fatally stabbing Troy city offical Bill Chamberlain near his home in North Greenbush -- was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison Friday morning. [TU]

Fatal fire in Saratoga Springs
One woman died, and a man suffered serious injuries, in a fire in a residence in the Geyser Crest section of Saratoga Springs Thursday. A Navy veteran who was staying a nearby home kicked down the door and rescued the man from the fire. The man's wife had a leg injury and had trouble moving. Four dogs also died. [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum]

Excelsior Scholarship
The deadline for applying for the new free-tuition Excelsior Scholarship is Friday night, and the state has already gotten more than 75,000 applications -- and more than 40,000 of the applicants have been notified they're eligible. The Cuomo admin budgeted for about 23,000 qualifiers -- and officials say they still think many who are eligible won't end up accepting. [Politico NY] [TU]

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Cleanup/investigation continue in Madison Avenue fire, calls for GE to continue Hudson cleanup, dates set in for Kaloyeros/Percoco trials

Madison Avenue fire
Cleanup continues at the site of a fire that destroyed four homes on Madison Avenue in Albany on Monday night. Authorities have yet to determine a cause of the blaze but learned that one of the homes may have been renting without a permit. Efforts are underway to help raise money for the victims on the fire who have been displaced.
[Spectrum][TU][WNYT]

Troy arson investigation
Troy officials have declared a curfew for the city's North Central neighborhood while they investigate connections between a string of fires in abandoned homes in the area. Investigators think there could be a connection to arsons dating back to 2012 in the area, and are looking at some of the suspects in the earlier fires. [TU][WNYT]


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Madison Ave houses demolished after fire, Troy fires ruled arson, 2nd confirmed case of tick borne Powassan in Saratoga County

Madison Avenue fire
Four historic row houses on Madison Avenue in Albany were demolished on Tuesday after being destroyed by fire on Monday night. More than a dozen people were displaced by the blaze, but everyone made it out alive. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire, but they don't believe it's suspicious. One good bit of news, a dog believed lost in the fire was found and returned to its owner on Tuesday. [TU][Spectrum][WNYT][News 10]

Troy fires
Fire officials on Tuesday have tabled a rash of recent fires in unoccupied Lansingburgh homes as suspicious. [Spectrum][Record]

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Large fire on Madison Ave in Albany, Saratoga talks about ICE arrests, man dies from stabbing injuries in Troy, casino payments continue to lag expectations

Madison Ave fire 2017-07-17

A photo from Monday night's row house fire on Madison Ave in Albany. / photo: Paul Gallo

Madison Ave fire
A large fire ripped through a string of row houses on Madison Ave between Lark and Dove Monday night in Albany (map). Sixteen people have been displaced from their homes. The Albany Fire Department says it's too early to determine a cause. [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

Saratoga Springs ICE arrests
A major topic of discussion at a Saratoga Springs community forum Monday night about recent ICE arrests in the city: Why the apparent focus on Saratoga? There were also questions about how community members could assist undocumented immigrants. People also talked about fear that's spread among immigrants in the county. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Troy arsons
The city of Troy says law enforcement is investigating six recent fires in the city as arsons. And TPD John Tedesco says police will be enforcing a curfew in North Central. [City of Troy] [TU]


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Job cuts at SUNY Poly, skepticism about job creation via tax breaks and incentives, huge crowd for Schenectady Summer Night

Job cuts at SUNY Poly
SUNY Poly has cut 38 support staff jobs at the Albany campus -- none of the cuts were in research positions. The cuts are part of a plan to trim $10 million from the school's budget. Interim president Bahgat Sammakia said SUNY Poly, which the Cuomo admin had used an economic development org, is focusing its direction and reviewing the economic development projects with which it's involved. [AP/NYDN] [TU] [Biz Review]

Shooting in Albany
Albany police say a man was shot Saturday afternoon on Clinton Ave near Swinburne Park made his way over to Central Ave for help. The Times Union reports witnesses saw the man run into the Burger King on Central requesting assistance. APD says it's investigating. [APD] [TU]

Another vacant building fire in Troy
Troy officials say they're investigating the cause of a fire at a vacant building in Lansingburgh early Monday. It's the fourth vacant building fire in two weeks. Officials say it's not determined whether the fires are connected. [News10] [TU] [Spectrum]

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Watchdogs dismayed by Silver conviction being overturned, Colonie murder-suicide investigation closed, new housing construction in Schenectady

Reaction to Sheldon Silver conviction overturned
+ Good government groups and public ethics advocates were dismayed by Sheldon Silver's conviction being overturned by a federal appeals court, and fear his case is now evidence there's a legal open window for public officials to enrich themselves via corruption. [Politico NY] [NYT]
+ Local state Assembly member Carrie Woerner, a Democrat, on corruption and the earlier Supreme Court decision that paved the way for Silver's conviction to be overturned: "If it looks like a carrot and smells like a carrot and tastes like a carrot, it's probably a carrot." [TU]
+ Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York: "Sheldon Silver is absolutely guilty of corrupting his office and violating the public trust." [Daily Gazette]
+ Joe Bruno says he's "very happy" for Sheldon Silver. [Spectrum]

Colonie murder-suicide case closed
State Police have closed the investigation into the incident in which Colonie police officer Israel Roman killed his wife, one of their sons, set their home on fire, and then killed himself -- NYSP says it wasn't able to determine a motive. [TU]

1 Monument Square
The developers planning to build a movie theater complex at 1 Monument Square will be seeking tax breaks for the project. [Biz Review]

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Silver conviction overturned, Q-poll: Cuomo approval numbers down, illegal marijuana growing operations in Selkirk home

Silver conviction overturned
A federal appeals court has overturned Sheldon Silver's 2015 corruption conviction.The ruling cited a recent Supreme Court decision narrowing the scope of public corruption. The judges ruled that in light of that decision, erroneous instructions were given to the jury and concluded that " it is not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have reached the same conclusion if properly instructed, as is required by law for the verdict to stand."[NYT][TU]

Q-Poll shows drop for Cuomo
The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows 55 percent of voters polled say Andrew Cuomo should not run for president in 2020. The poll also showed a dip in Cuomo's approval rating. [TU][NYT]

Powassan virus
The NYS Department of health has confirmed a fatal case of Powassan virus in Saratoga County. [Spectrum]

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Cuomo touts new Schenectady rail station, immigrants arrested in Saratoga to be deported, man charged with shooting at Schenectady police, Stiller casting for Danemora mini series

Cuomo visits Schenectady, touts train station
As crews began tearing down the old Schenectady rail station on Tuesday, Andrew Cuomo was in the Electric City touting the design for the new station. Cuomo pointed to the $23 million train station as an emblem of positive change in the city. [Gazette][WNYT][TU]

School board elections moving
Andrew Cuomo signed a bill earlier this week that will move annual school board elections from the November general election to the third Tuesday in May, when school districts in New York hold budget votes. [TU]

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Opioid epidemic prompts counties to target drug companies, focus on combined sewer overflows, Central Warehouse contract off

Opioids
The Albany County Legislature has put its support behind a push for the county to recover damages from pharmaceutical companies related to the opioid addiction epidemic. Albany County is joining other counties a lawsuit. [TU] [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Sewage in the Hudson
Troy mayor Patrick Madden pushed back on the characterization of the large combined sewer overflow that sent sewage in to the Hudson River in recent weeks as a "spill," instead calling it a "discharge" and focusing attention on the infrastructure problem that caused it. Albany had a similar event last week -- and both cities failed to report to the DEC in the required timeframe. The DEC says it's investigating the situation. [Madden admin] [TU] [Spectrum] [New York Law Journal]

(Combined sewer overflows -- in which the old sewer systems that handle both storm water and sewage together become overwhelmed -- are a longrunning problem, and there's a 15-year plan in place among the communities of the "Albany Pool" to address the issue.)

Shooting in Troy
Troy police say one person was taken to the hospital following gunfire around 11 pm in North Central. [News10]

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Big sewage spills in the Hudson River, affordable housing development floated for Albany, ViaPort aquarium expanding

Sewage in the Hudson
Heavy rain at the start of this month prompted large sewage spills into the Hudson from Albany and Troy -- the spills were combined sewer overflows -- and both cities were slow to report to the spills to the state. (Combined sewer overflows -- in which the old sewer systems tha handle both storm water and sewage together become overwhelmed -- are a longrunning problem, and there's a 15-year plan in place to address the issue.) [TU]

Gun violence
+ There was a stop-the-violence march in Albany's Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods Saturday. [WNYT] [Spectrum]
+ A look at the tools local law enforcement agencies have for tracking crime guns. [TU]
+ Chris Churchill on the recent spike in homicides in the city and discussions about the size of the city's police force. [TU+]

Affordable housing in Albany
A Rochester-based developer is considering a plan to redevelop more than 70 properties along Clinton Ave in Albany into affordable housing. [TU]

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Verdict in fatal stabbing of Troy official, "extraordinary" session wraps at state Capitol, all the Lyfting and Ubering, a reminder about fireworks

Trial in the death of Bill Chamberlain
Update: The jury found Vandenburgh guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. [Spectrum]
____
The jury in now deliberating in the trial of Joseph Vandenburgh, accused of fatally stabbing former Troy city official Bill Chamberlain near Chamberlain's home in Wynantskill in 2015. The prosecution alleges DNA evidence links Vandenburgh to a large knife used in the attack. Vandenburgh's attorney argued her client had no motive. [TU] [Troy Record] [Spectrum] [WNYT]

Extraordinary session
+ The state legislature wrapped its "extraordinary" session (technical term) with the passage of a bill that includes sales tax extenders for counties and mayoral control of NYC schools. [TU] [Spectrum]
+ Also: There's a provision that names the new Tappan Zee Bridge after Mario Cuomo, which Andrew Cuomo said his father wouldn't have wanted (but the son pushed for it anyway). [Politico]

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Special session underway, Schenectady man charged in multi-state prostitution ring, rare Colonial ledger found on eBay, it's Uber Day

Special session
After hours of what was described as dysfunction, the Assembly passed legislation that would, among other things, ensure mayoral control of NYC schools for two years, and extend sales taxes that are vital to the financial health of more than 50 counties. The Assembly also passed legislation that would rename the Tappan Zee Bridge after the late governor Mario Cuomo and provide a financial incentive package for the Vernon Downs racino/harness track. The legislation goes to the Senate on Thursday. [TU][NYT][Gannett][NYSOP]

Ride share day
You can officially take an Uber ride in upstate NY as of today. [Gazette]

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Cuomo calls special legislative session, alleged murder was released by judge 5 weeks earlier , Albany Chiropractor allegedly abused patients, another rare lobster escapes the pot

Albany
For the second time in his tenure as governor, Andrew Cuomo is calling the legislature back for a special session. Cuomo says he wants lawmakers to vote on a bill to extend mayoral control of New York City's public schools and Cuomo included, "Such other subjects as I may recommend." One of the items that could come up in special session, a sales tax extender that could mean local tax increases if it goes unpassed. Some legislators are bemoaning the cost of a special session, which some estimate at hundreds of thousands of dollars. [TU][WNYT][NYT][WNYT][News 10]

Medicaid managed care provider legislation
Something that did pass in the legislative session -- a bill that would require Medicaid managed care providers to cover drugs from the two not-for-profit pharmacies in the state operated by the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. [TU]

Alleged murderer was released after recent parole violations
The career criminal charged with the murder of a homeless man last Sunday violated was released five weeks earlier after he was brought before a judge on parole violations. [TU]

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Remembering man killed on Grand Street, fight over Saratoga Code Blue shelter, prepping for ride hailing, yoga with goats

Fatal stabbing in Albany on Grand Street
Albany police identified the man fatally stabbed early Sunday morning on Grand Street as 47-year-old Mark Douglas. He was homeless and a well-known figure in the neighborhood -- said one person to the Times Union: "He was as much of a neighbor as you could be, especially considering that he didn't have a residence." APD says the incident is still under investigation and asks anyone with info to call. [APD] [TU+]

Update: APD, crediting "many phone calls and cooperation from the community," says it's arrested a 64-year-old man who's been charged with second-degree murder. [APD]

Fight over location of Saratoga Springs Code Blue shelter
The Saratoga Springs Zoning Board of Appeals ruled Monday that a challenge to a proposed Code Blue shelter on Walworth Street next to the Shelters of Saratoga had been filed past the deadline. One of neighborhood opponents to the shelter location opponents -- Robert Pringle, who's also CEO of Glens Falls Hospital -- told the Daily Gazette the plan is "toxic" for the neighborhood, and mayoral candidate Mark Baker weighed in against the plan. And it sounds like opponents are considering legal options. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Fall from Great Escape ride
A Warren County Sheriff's lieutenant said Monday it appears "human error" caused a teen to end up dangling -- and then falling -- from the Sky Ride at the Great Escape. [Post-Star]

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Teen falls from Great Escape ride, sentencing in Crossgates gunfire incident, the frustration of small claims court, redevelop former convention center site bit by bit?

Fall from Great Escape ride
A teen fell 25 feet from the Sky Ride chair lift ride at the Great Escape Saturday evening, a incident captured on video. Before falling, the teen was dangling from the lift, her arm and neck stuck on the bar of the car. Bystanders gathered below and broke her fall. Warren County Sheriff's deputies say the teen did not suffer serious injuries. The park says the ride is close while it investigates what happened. [News10] [Facebook] [News10] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Post-Star]

Fatal stabbing in Albany
Albany police say a 47-year-old man died after being stabbed early Sunday morning near Madison Ave and Grand Street. APD is asking anyone with info to call. [APD]

State Police academy investigation
Brendan Lyons reports that State Police had been investigating whether there had been inappropriate interactions between training officers and female recruits at the at the State Police academy: "Nearly six months later, interviews with multiple people familiar with the investigation, and a review of internal State Police documents, raise questions about whether the agency fully investigated the allegations or may have sought to cover them up." [TU]

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Reaction to Senate Republican health plan, multiple households displaced in Albany fire, from Pakistan to Schenectady to a diploma

Senate Republican health care plan
New York reaction to the Senate version of the Republican health care legislation:
+ Chuck Schumer said the Senate plan is "meaner" than House version, playing on Donald Trump's earlier comments about the House version being "mean." [TU]
+ From a Kirsten Gillibrand statement: "The Senate bill presented today, which was crafted behind closed doors by 13 men, would fundamentally harm Americans young and old, do severe damage to a fragile economy, and bankrupt state governments across the country." [Gillibrand office]
+ The Senate plan includes the New York-specific provision backed by John Faso that would shift more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs from counties to the state, and he said doing so would relieve a burden from property tax payers. [TU]
+ A spokesman for Elise Stefanik says she's reviewing the legislation. [Press Republican]
+ From a Paul Tonko statement: "This bill will lead to historic drops in coverage and major increases in premiums for those who can least afford them." [Tonko office]

North Manning Blvd fire
Multiple buildings in a row of homes along North Manning Blvd caught fire Friday morning, displacing as many as 30 people. AFD chief Warren Abriel said the fire started in a vacant building and spread. Workers at the nearby Bimbo bakery (formerly Freihofer's) are being credited with noticing the fire and alerting residents of the homes to get out. [News10] [@JohnCraigWNYT] [Spectrum] [TU] [@EmilyMasters]

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Legislative session ends with business left undone, suspicious white powder sent to Harriman Campus, Adelphi selling memorabilia, Tappan Zee could be named for Mario Cuomo

Session ends
The legislative session came to a close late Wednesday night without resolving a sales tax extension for 53 counties, and the question of whether New York City can be allowed more charter schools -- two bargaining chips that were leveraged against each other. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says he won't bring the Assembly back into session to vote on mayoral control of charter schools. [Spectrum][NYT][TU][NYSOP]

White powder delivered to State Police
An envelope containing white powder was received in the mail at the Department of Correction and Community Supervision offices on the Harriman Campus. State Police are trying to determine what the powder is and who sent it, but say no-one has become ill. [TU] [Gazette]

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Slocum guilty in triple homicide, woman drowns when car topples into creek, legislative session winds down, SCCC extends president's contract

Slocum convicted in triple murder
A Washington County jury convicted Matthew Slocum on all charges for the 2013 murder of his mother, stepfather and stepfather. [TU]

Fish Creek death
A 66-year-old Saratoga Springs woman drowned Tuesday evening after her car toppled off a one-lane bridge into Fish Creek. [Gazette]

Legislative session winds down
The state legislative session wraps up today. Still on the table -- a sales tax extension measure that is tied up in a dispute over NYC charter schools. Legislators don't think they'll be able to come to an agreement on the Child Victims Act before the close of the session. And Andrew Cuomo did signed the law officially raising the legal age for marriage to 17. [WNYT][TU][TWCN][TU]

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Hoosick Falls contamination levels much higher than previously reported, indictment in Colonie fatal alleged hit and run, alcohol in movie theaters looks like a no-go

Hoosick Falls
A state Department of Environmental Conservation presentation Monday evening reported that testing of sites in Hoosick Falls indicated much higher levels of PFOA contamination than previously reported. And the DEC is referring to the sites as Superfund sites. Former regional EPA administrator Judith Enck said the levels may be the highest identified levels in the nation. And there's discussion about the possibility of connecting to the Tomhannock Reservoir as a new source of drinking water. [TU] [Spectrum] [News10] [WNYT]

Colonie standoff
Colonie police say a man had barricaded himself inside a home Monday evening, and neighbors were evacuated as part of the standoff. They say when they entered the home overnight, the man was found dead in an apparent suicide. [News10] [TU]

Troy police drug unit investigation
+ Officials say multiple agencies will be assisting the Troy Police Department to fill in gaps while the department's drug unit is on leave as part of an internal investigation. The city has yet to say publicly why the unit was was placed on leave. (Both the TU and News10 have reported there are allegations involving a warrantless search.) [TU] [News10]
+ Mark Robarge: "As a result, we in the media and the public are left to speculate on what really happened. We really have no clue whether this is a minor issue or a major scandal, beyond the fact that the suspension of an entire police unit is highly unusual and suggests a significant problem." [Troy Record]

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Sources say alleged warrantless search at heart of Troy drug unit investigation, fatal shooting in Albany, study links between cancer and toxic sites, celebrating 180 years

Troy police drug unit investigation
"Several city government sources" tell the Times Union that the entire Troy police drug unit was placed on leave because of an allegation that the unit filed a false burglary repot to cover up a warrantless search of residence. News10 talked with a landlord who said it was her property that was searched -- and she said police admitted to her that they did the search without a warrant. City officials have yet to publicly address the specifics of the situation. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]

Albany tax break mistake
Following the recent revelation that the city of Albany has incorrectly applied a state tax break program to residential projects, the city said assessor Keith McDonald -- who told the Business Review it was his mistake -- is retiring at the end of June. Mayor Kathy Sheehan told the Times Union the issue dates back to 2011 and the city reviewing the potential impact of the mistake -- she also said the assessor operates independently and she had not spoken with him about assessments. One of the properties to which the tax break was apparently applied incorrectly was the new 73-unit residential conversion at 20 Park Street near the Capitol, the developer of which said the break was key in making the project happen. A ribbon cutting for the project scheduled for Monday was cancelled. [Biz Review] [TU] [Biz Review x2]

Albany homicide
Albany police say a 46-year-old man was fatally shot Sunday afternoon in the South End. The man had been at a family Father's Day celebration, and police say an altercation preceded the shooting. It's the seventh homicide in the city since a period of 9 months without a homicide ended late last year. [APD] [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

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Sentencing in UAlbany bus incident, guilty verdict in the death of Medina Knowles, Albany tax break mistake, treasurer reports Albany budget surplus, big cat -- or really big cat?

Updated

Sentencing in UAlbany bus incident
Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell -- the two women found guilty of filing a false report as part of the UAlbany bus incident -- were sentenced to three years probations and 200 hours of community service Friday morning. [TU]

Guilty verdict in the death of Medina Knowles
A jury found Raekwon Stover guilty of all the charges against him, including second-degree murder, in the shooting death of 17-year-old Medina Knowles in her Schenectady home last year. He faces up to 25 years to life at sentencing. [News10] [Daily Gazette]

Troy police drug unit
The entire Troy police drug unit has placed on administrative leave, but no one from the city will officially say why. [News10] [TU]

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Local reps react to Alexandria shooting, Wilton teacher charged with rape, Schenectady County sues opioid makers

NY Congress members react to shooting
Reactions from Elise Stefanik, John Faso, Paul Tonko and Chuck Schumer to Wednesday's shooting at a baseball practice for a Republican congressional team. [TU]

Schenectady County sues opioid makers
Schenectady county has joined a list of counties filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of prescription opiates. [TU]

Teacher charged with rape
A 5th grade teacher at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School in Wilton is facing rape charges for having an alleged sexual relationship with a student. [TU]

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Testimony wraps up in Knowles murder trial, visa restrictions mean seasonal employee shortages, self-driving car tested on I-90


Knowles murder trial
Testimony wrapped up on Tuesday in the trial of Raekwon Stover, charged with the death of Medina Knowels wrapped up on Tuesday, with a neighbor who told the court she was awakened by screams and gunshots. [Gazette]

White Creek triple murder trial
Loretta Colegrove, the former girlfriend of murder suspect Matthew Slocum, testified at his retrial on Tuesday that she witnessed Slocum firing a shotgun at his stepbrother. [TU]

Saratoga inclusionary zoning vote delayed
Plans to vote on an inclusionary zoning proposal in Saratoga Springs have been postponed after a workshop on the proposal turned into a heated discussion between the city and developers who are concerned about costs and the vagueness of the wording. [Saratogian][Gazette][TU]


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Sex trafficking sting nets 12 arrests, Albany County legislature votes down anti-nepotism proposal, Kirsten Gillibrand and the F word

Underage sex trafficking sting
Police say an underage sex trafficking sting operation based in Warren County netted the arrests of 12 men from around the region. The sting involved posting online ads with an undercover police officer posing as the contact person -- they men were arrested when they showed up and agreed to a price. The sting included the Warren County Sheriff's Department, State Police, and FBI. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [News10]

Trial in the death of Medina Knowles
A prosecution witnessed testified Monday that when he and Raekwon Stover were inmates at the Schenectady County jail, Stover admitted that he had fatally shot Medina Knowles (the witness is set to get a reduced jail term for his testimony). [Daily Gazette]

Albany County anti-nepotism proposal
The Albany County Legislature voted against a proposed resolution that would have imposed stricter rules for the hiring of former officials and the family of county officials to county jobs. [TU]

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New head for GE, trial of the man charged with killing Medina Knowles, Albany school district settles harassment case, a century of outdoor movies

New head of GE
Jeff Immelt is stepping down as head of GE later this year to be replaced by John Flannery, current head of GE Healthcare. The conglomerate has more than 6,000 employees in the Capital Region. [Bloomberg] [TU]

Trial in the death of Medina Knowles
In opening statements of the trial of Raekwon Stover -- accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Medina Knowles in a Schenectady residence last fall -- the prosecution alleged that Stover had been prostituting Knowles and killed her because he was angry she was going to stop. A former girlfriend of Stover testified that he had talked about becoming a pimp and later called her from jail asking her to delete photos of Knowles from his email. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Hiring relatives for Albany County government jobs
The Albany County Legislature is considering a resolution that would impose new restrictions on the hiring of people who have family who are elected county officials. [TU]

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Congressional rep reaction to Comey testimony, former school board president sentenced, Uber tagged by state ethics commission, organizing the (maybe last) Flag Day Parade

Comey testimony
A roundup of reaction from New York/Capital Region Congressional reps about James Comey's testimony Thursday. [Daily Gazette]

Charges in Schenectady police Mumford Street shooting
Schenectady police say the man shot by officers during a standoff on Mumford Street is facing a group of charges that includes reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment. He was arraigned in his hospital room at Albany Med. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Former Saratoga Springs school board president sentenced
Former Saratoga Springs school board president Chip Locke was sentenced to six months in jail and $15k in restitution for stealing money from Greenfield Home School Association. Locke used the sentencing to criticize members of the association. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Experts question Hoosick Falls study, Schenectady police say shooting was justified in standoff, former Russian orphans graduate together from Ballston Spa High School

PFOA
Environmental health experts interviewed by the Times Union say the newly-released study that concludes there was no increase in cancer rates among Hoosick Falls residents in the last 20 years is flawed or "deceitful." Village residents questioned the results of the study at a meeting on Wednesday. [TU][Spectrum]

Schenectady police say shooting was justified
Schenectady police say the city man shot by officers during a standoff earlier this weekwas unarmed at the moment of the shooting, but police chief Eric Cliffordsays he believes the shooting was justified. [Spectrum][Gazette]

AG to investigate Schenectady police custody death
Eric Schneiderman's office is investigating the case of a New York City man who died in the custody of Schenectady police in early May. [Gazette]

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Soares unveils juvenile clean slate program, report claims no elevated levels of PFOA related cancer in Hoosick Falls, Cuomo takes aim at Faso/Stefanik and other GOP congressional leaders, Shen art project attracts controversy

Cuomo takes aim at Faso/Stefanik
Andrew Cuomo took aim at six Congressional Republicans on Tuesday-- including John Faso and Elise Stefanik-- saying they've violated oaths and defrauded voters and pledging to see them ejected from office in the midterm elections. [NYT][TU]

Soares juvenile justice plan
David Soares has released details for Project Reclamation -- a three-pronged plan clean slate plan designed to allow non-violent felony defendants between ages 16 and 24 to resolve cases without jail time or a criminal record. [WNYT][TU]

PFOA
The Department of Health has released a new study that claims t PFOA related cancers were not elevated in Hoosick Falls over the last 20 years, compared to the rest of New York. [News 10][Spectrum]

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Man shot by Schenectady police, sentencing in Lake George boat crash trial, plans for pedestrian safety in Albany and Cohoes, remembering Dan Lynch

Man shot by Schenectady police
Schenectady police shot a man during a standoff in response to a reported domestic situation Monday morning at a Hamilton Hill home (map). SPD said later on Tuesday the man was in stable condition at Albany Med. The incident was captured on a Facebook live video by a bystander, and police fired after the man appeared to make an abrupt pointing motion from a second-floor porch. SPD said they did not find a gun near the man. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU x2]

Lake George boat crash trial
Alex West was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for his role in the fatal Lake George boat crash last summer. West was convicted on eight counts, including second-degree manslaughter, but the judge imposed concurrent sentences, shortening the overall length of time West will be in prison. The sentencing included victim impact statements from the family of Charlotte McCue, the 8 year old killed in the crash. And a statement from West: "I am haunted every day by it, knowing that I was part of something that took away a little girl." [Post-Star] [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

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Local orgs bracing for potential food stamp cuts, shooting in Cohoes, sheriff: driver in fatal ambulance crash fell asleep, cold spring holding back local farms

Food stamps
Local organizations that provide services to food-insecure people in the Capital Region are bracing for the possible effects of the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- more than 70,000 people in the Capital Region were on SNAP this past spring. [TU]

Shooting in Cohoes
Cohoes police say a 19-year-old man was shot Sunday afternoon on Main Street, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested. The father of the 19 year old said his family knows the alleged shooter, and police said the shooting was not random. [News10] [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Opioids
The Daily Gazette has a series running about opioid addiction -- its local toll, and strategies for addressing it. [Daily Gazette x2]

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New York to pursue climate coalition with other states, sale of old Troy hospital site for affordable housing fails, EPA says enough Hudson dredging for now, getting to age 106

Climate change
Following Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that the US would exit the Paris Climate Accord, the Cuomo administration said Andrew Cuomo and the governors of California and Washington are forming the United States Climate Alliance in an effort to bring together states committed to upholding the agreement. It's one of multiple similar efforts on the state and local level around the country. [NYT] [Cuomo admin] [AP/Troy Record] [NYT]

Sentencing in fatal Saratoga County crash
Maria Lentini -- who was found guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal crash with a pedestrian in Halfmoon and not reporting it -- was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison, but is out pending an appeal. One of Patrick Duff's family members said she had asked family and friends to pray for Lentini, only to find out "you left him on your windshield for over an hour to look out for yourself." [TU] [Spectrum] [Daily Gazette]

Leonard Hospital
The deal for the city of Troy to sell the Leonard Hospital property to a developer planning new affordable housing there has fallen through after a 4-4 city council vote, with councilman John Donohue abstaining because he works for an org than would seeking housing in the development. [WNYT] [TU]

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Cuomo urges Trump to stay in climate pact, Schaghticoke teen killed in crash, one plea and one sentencing in Schenectady fire perjury case, 90 mph microburst in Colonie

NY officials advise Trump on climate pact
State officials including Andrew Cuomo, Eric Schneiderman, Tom DiNapoli and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have all advised Donald Trump not to drop out of the Paris global climate change accord. [TU]

Schaghticoke teen killed in crash
Seventeen year old William Rowe -- a senior at Hoosic Valley High School in Schaghticoke-- died Wednesday morning when his pick up truck crashed head on into a motor home. The investigation into the crash continues. [TU][Spectrum]

Guilderland teen mourned
Guilderland is mourning the loss of 17 year old Alyssa Gelfand, who died in a crash on a stretch of road where another teen was 17 years ago [Spectrum] [TU]

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Marquis Dixon charged for allegedly threatening mother, Guilderland teen dies from injuries sustained in crash, conflicting reactions to Albany budget report, Spa City mayor calls on voters to approve new charter

Guilderland student dies from injuries
The 17-year-old driver of a car that crashed on Hurst Road in Guilderland, has died. Police say rain and darkness were factors in the crash. [TWCN][TU]

Marquis Dixon arrested again
Marquis Dixon, the local teen who became the face of the local Raise the Age movement after being sentenced at age 16 to nine years in prison for stealing sneakers, has been arrested again, charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Dixon, now 19, allegedly threatened his mother with a steak knife on Saturday, telling her he would kill her. A month ago Dixon, who was released earlier this year was arrested for allegedly trying to spend a fake $20 bill. [News 10][TU][TWCN][News 10]

Albany budget report
There were conflicting reactions from the mayoral candidates Tuesday to the recent state-backed consultants' report about how to fix Albany's budget situation -- ranging from "it validates the work we're doing" to "Albany is headed in the wrong direction." [TU]


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Long-awaited report on Albany's finances finally out, DA rolls back Walmart theft case agreement, push for farm worker labor rights, more bits about possible new Cap Rep theater

Report on Albany finances
+ The long-awaited state-backed consultants' report on the city of Albany's finances was finally released late this past Friday afternoon -- among the many recommendations: fewer police officers and firefighters, higher taxes. [TU]
+ Reaction from the mayoral candidates. [WNYT]

State Senate stipend scandal
+ An overview and recap of latest scandalous situation involving the state legislature, involving the state Senate and the payment of committee chair stipends to members who didn't actually have the positions. [NYT]
+ "A source with knowledge of the decision" tells the Daily News that the Albany County DA's office will not be pursuing a formal investigation of the situation. [NYDN]

Rensselaer County and Walmart theft cases
+ After an agreement between the Rensselaer County DA's office and Walmart in which the chain was not to call law enforcement for thefts less than $100 -- a bid to reduce crowding local courts with cases over small thefts -- came to light in a Times Union report, DA Joel Abelove reversed course Friday. [TU x2]
+ Chris Churchill: "It all sounds like a madcap game show in which contestants run around a big-box store filling their carts -- but if they go over the $100 limit, they lose and don't get to keep the stuff. (Sad horn sound.)" [TU+]
+ From Bloomberg Businessweek last year: "Walmart's Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy." [Bloomberg]

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Siena poll:Cuomo's popularity jumps, NY lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have problems with Trump budget, an act of kindness revealed after graduation

Siena poll shows bump in Cuomo's popularity
A new Siena poll shows Andrew Cuomo's support among New York voters has jumped significantly, from 54% to 61%. But the poll shows some voters still think the governor is "under water" on six issues, including taxes and infrastructure. [Gazette][TU]

NY lawmakers on Trump budget
Chuck Schumer, Elise Stefanik and John Faso all say they have problems with the proposed Trump budget. [Hearst]

Stefanik
The DCCC is adding Elise Stefanik to a list of Republicans to target in the midterm elections. [Gazette]


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Security stepped up after Manchester attack, alleged hit-and-run crashes in Schenectady, Albany seeks steep cut in valuation of Coeymans property

Manchester reaction
Following the bombing in Manchester, England, Andrew Cuomo said in a statement he's "directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations across New York, including our airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems." [NYT] [Cuomo admin]

State Senate stipends
"Sources briefed on the meeting" tell the Times Union that one of the leaders of the state Senate Democratic conference and staffers were contacted by the Albany County DA's public integrity unit about the Senate stipends that have been paid to Republicans and members of the Independent Democratic Conference. [TU]

Schenectady alleged hit-and-runs
+ Schenectady police say a driver ran over a curb near an elementary school in Mont Pleasant Monday morning, hitting a high school student, and then drove off. SPD said it later arrested the alleged driver at her home. [Daily Gazette]
+ The man accused of a different hit-and-run in Schenectady Monday is facing a felony leaving the scene charge. [Daily Gazette]

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Fatal stabbing in Albany, Troy pools not opening this summer, Saratoga Springs mayor not running for re-election, Oprah at Skidmore

Fatal stabbing in Albany
Albany police said responding officers found a man stabbed on Elk Street in West Hill early Saturday morning -- and he later died of his injuries. APD says it's investigating and asking anyone with info to call. [APD]

Man injured in Schenectady hit and run
Schenectady police say a pedestrian suffered a serious head injury in an alleged hit-and-run crash on State Street near Hulett Street (map) early Monday morning. SPD says it stopped a vehicle that matched a description reported by a witness and the driver has been charged with leaving the scene. [News10] [TU]

Charting the local government jobs of politicians' families
The Times Union continues its survey of the local government jobs held by the family members of local elected officials, specifically in Halfmoon. [TU+ x2]

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Powerful storms knock out power to thousands, guilty plea in Albany murder case, law enforcement said to now be involved in state Senate stipends, UAlbany student a Youtube star

Overnight storms
+ The line of thunderstorms that rolled through the area Thursday night knocked out power to thousands of households around the region. [National Grid]
+ It appears lightning struck a house in Slingerlands, setting it on fire. [TU]
+ In Cohoes: "All of a sudden I saw this guy get struck by lightning and I was supposed to be studying for a quiz, like three quizzes, and this dude just gets hit by lightning." [WNYT]

Guilty plea in Albany murder case
The man accused of beating 63-year-old Lori Milks to death outside the South Mall Towers in Albany last November pleaded guilty second-degree murder and nows faces 19 years to life at sentencing. The attack was captured on video. The attorney for Gerard Burks was longtime local defense attorney Terry Kindlon -- he said of the case after the plea: "This is, without question, the most provable murder case I have ever seen." [TU] [Albany County DA] [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Chip fab yard sale
SUNY Poly is looking to sell tens of millions of dollars in specialized equipment after after a chip industry research consortium effort planned for the Albany campus -- the one that prompted the construction of the $365 million NanoFab X building -- fizzled out. [TU]

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Mother and child hit by school bus, Senate votes to move up ride sharing, Saratoga citizens battle racist fliers with message of peace, Hollywood visits ALB

Hate crime victim not surprised by youth suspect
The father of five whose garage was burned down in an apparent hate crime earlier his week says he's not surprised a teen has been arrested for the crime, telling the TU "Children don't understand the actions that they take."[TU]

School bus hits mother and child
Police are investigating an incident in Schenectady where a city school bus hit a mother and child on Wednesday afternoon.[Gazette]

Ride sharing 10 days sooner
The NYS Senate has passed legislation that would allow ride sharing in upstate NY by the July 4th weekend. [TU]

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Capital Region school budgets approved, teen arrested in connection with arson/hate crime, Albany parking tickets on the rise again, blind veteran athlete joins NY Veterans Hall of Fame

School budgets
School districts in the Capital Region approved their budgets and capital projects on Tuesday, most by large margins. The Albany Public Library budget was also approved by 76 percent. There were changes on a number of the region's school boards. [TU][TU][APL]

Arrest in alleged hate crime
Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with a Schodack fire being investigated as a hate crime. Charges can not officially be designated as a hate crime because of the suspect's age. [TWCN][News 10]

Confession in fatal crash
A Ballston Spa man has admitted that he left the scene of the crash that claimed the life of a pedestrian in Milton back in October.[TU]


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Police investigating Schodack fire as a hate crime, Schenectady teen killed in Thruway crash, Capital Rep looking at potential new theater space

Polls are open today for votes on school district budgets, and in some places, also for members of school boards and library budgets. Don't know where to vote? Check with your school district's website.

Police investigating Schodack fire as a hate crime
Schodack police say a detached garage that appears to have been set on fire Sunday night had been spray painted with a swastika and a racial epithet. And the town's police chief says the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. An African-American family lives in the home -- said the father Monday: "It's not going to force me to move."

Death of man in Schenectady police custody
+ State Police say they're reviewing interviews, along with audio and video, from the recent incident in which Andrew Kearse died while in Schenectady police custody. Mayor Gary McCarthy on Monday: "The initial review seems to be that the officers acted appropriately, and (we're) looking to see what the exact cause of death was." [Daily Gazette] [TU]
+ Sara Foss: "One of the reasons Kearse's death deserves extra scrutiny is because there have been a number of troubling allegations of excessive force on the part of the Schenectady police." [Daily Gazette]

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Questions about death of man in Schenectady police custody, getting ready for ride hailing, GlobalFoundries on a roll, victories that don't necessary show up on the scoreboard

Death of man in Schenectady police custody
A woman identifying as the girlfriend of Andrew Kearse -- the man who died while in Schenectady police custody last week -- said she saw police drag the man out of a police car, and that while he was on the ground and unresponsive, officers were joking that he was faking. And the man's wife, who's from the Bronx, tells News10 she questions how long it took for Kearse to get medical attention. SPD chief Eric Clifford in a statement: "Our agency is cooperating fully with this investigation and has every intention of being transparent to the community regarding all the facts related to this incident. The investigation needs to be completed and reported upon by the NYSP before any further comments can be made." [Spectrum] [News10] [Daily Gazette]

State Senate bonuses
+ An attorney for the state Senate Republican majority released a letter Saturday night pushing back on the allegation the majority had improperly directed bonuses to members of the Independent Democratic Caucus, arguing the dispensing of committee chair stipends was at the discretion of the chamber. A spokesman for the Senate's Democratic conference called the letter an "obvious after-the-fact effort to cover up for an outrageous misuse of taxpayer funds." [TU] [NYT]
+ "Insiders" explain to Ken Lovett why the bonuses came about. [NYDN]

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Man dies in SPD custody, pedstrian struck in Colonie, Jimino not running for re-election, brewery planned for Albany

Man dies in Schenectady police custody
Schenectady police say a man apprehended after a short foot chase following a traffic stop died Thursday afternoon while in police custody. SPD said the man had complained of breathing problems and feeling dizzy while in a police car on the way to a station, became unresponsive, paramedics were called, and he was pronounced dead at Ellis Hospital. SPD says State Police have been called into investigate. [News10] [Spectrum] [TU]

Pedestrian struck in Colonie
Colonie police say driver struck a teen walking her dog along Albany Street Thursday afternoon -- the teen was taken to Albany Med and was in critical but stable condition, the dog died. CPD says the driver immediately stopped and called 911. CPD is investigating and asking any witnesses to call with info. [CPD press release] [News10]

American Health Care Act
+ Kirsten Gillibrand on the all-male group of Senators selected to work on the American Health Care Act: "We have 13 men writing this health care bill right now; I'd like to know what their personal experience is with women's health care." [TU]
+ More than 150 people lined a street in Schoharie Thursday to protest John Faso's recent vote for the American Health Care Act -- Faso was there to speak at the Schoharie County Republican Committee's Lincoln Dinner. [Daily Gazette]

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KKK handbills found on cars in Saratoga, local reps on Comey firing, one step closer to driverless cars on NY roads

Hate speech in Saratoga
Handbills with hate messages seeking recruits for the KKK were left on car windshields in a Saratoga Springs neighborhood this week. Saratoga Springs Police Chief Greg Veitch describes the bills as amateurish, but says he is concerned that the sentiment is present in the community. [Saratogian][Gazette]

Child's death may bring new charges for imprisoned caregiver
The death of a 12-year-old child of complications from injuries sustained as a baby at the hands of a former caregiver, has Schenectady County prosecutors considering whether to bring stronger charges against the convicted assailant, who is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence for the assault. [TU[

Local reps on Comey firing
Representatives John Faso and Elise Stefanik expressed concern about the timing of the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer and Paul Tonko are among those insisting on the need for a special prosecutor in the investigation of potential Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election.. [TU][Gazette]

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Schumer warned Trump about the timing of Comey firing, husband pleads not-guilty to ax-murder of wife, Schenectady County reinstitutes fireworks ban


Schumer on Comey firing
Chuck Schumer says he warned Donald Trump that firing FBI Director James Comey now was a mistake, and would look like a cover-up. Schumer said he wants to see an independent prosecutor appointed to handle the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. [WNYT]

Alleged ax murder in Hadley
The woman whose body was found in her Hadley home last week, was the victim of an ax murder, and her husband is a suspect. Michael Norton pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife, Sherry Norton. Norton told reporters, "I love my wife. I didn't mean it to happen."[TWCN][Gazette][News 10][TU]

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West found guilty in Lake George boat crash trial, Stefanik faces questions about health care vote, Mazzone empire getting international partner, Smith's Tavern is closing

Lake George boat crash trial
+ The jury found Alexander West guilty on 8 of 12 charges, including second-degree manslaughter, on Monday. He faces as many as 22 years in prison at sentencing. West's attorney says they'll be exploring a possible appeal. [News10] [TU] [Post-Star]
+ After the verdict, jurors said they wanted to take their time during deliberation and had been prepared to deliberate longer if necessary. [Post-Star]
+ Robert Knarr, grandfather of Charlotte McCue: "It's a big win, but I will tell you, every one of us here would trade this victory -- and probably our lives -- to have Charlotte back." [Daily Gazette]

American Health Care Act
Elise Stefanik faced questions about the recent American Health Care Act vote during a TV town hall meeting Monday evening hosted by Mountain Lakes PBS. Stefanik said she voted for the bill because of "reduced coverage and higher deductibles" under the Affordable Care Act. Many of the questions from the crowed were critical of her vote in support of the bill, citing concerns about loss of coverage, pre-existing conditions, and cuts to Medicaid. [Politico NY] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

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Verdict in Crossgates gunfire trial, political fallout from Congressional health care vote, food banks in need as summer approaches

Crossgates gunfire trial
Friday afternoon a jury found Tasheem Maeweather, accused of firing a gun in the incident that prompted a lockdown at Crossgates, guilty of reckless endangerment -- but not guilty of attempted murder, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. He faces 3.5 to 7 years in prison -- but his attorney says they're planning an appeal. [TU] [Spectrum] [Daily Gazette]

American Health Care Act
+ Looking at the politics -- and potential electoral implications -- of the American Health Care Act in for Republican Congress members in two upstate districts. [Politico NY]
+ John Faso will not be appearing at a "Save our Healthcare Town Hall" in Kingston Monday evening -- but Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic Congressman from an adjacent district, will be there. [Daily Freeman]
+ A former aide to Andrew Cuomo -- and current Harvard Law student -- says he's planning a run against Faso next year. [Politico NY]

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Stefanik and Faso address why they voted for AHCA, closing arguments in Lake George boat crash and Crossgates gunfire trials, 1 Monument Square plan takes step forward

American Health Care Act
+ Elise Stefanik and John Faso were both "yes" votes, Paul Tonko a "no" vote. How New York State's House delegation voted. [AOA]
+ Stefanik statement clip: "The American Health Care Act is not perfect, but it is an important step in reforming our broken healthcare system to help families in our district. As this legislation moves to the Senate, I will continue to work to strengthen the support for those with pre-existing conditions." [Stefanik office]
+ Faso statement clip: "The AHCA contains a provision I authored to eliminate the ability of New York State as of 2020 to impose Medicaid costs on county property taxpayers. ... The provision I authored will bring much-needed property tax relief and keep people and jobs in Upstate New York." [Faso office]
+ Tonko statement clip: "I can only hope Republicans come to their senses and stop this disaster in the U.S. Senate. I encourage everyone to keep up the calls, emails, tweets, posts, letters, etc. The fight to protect our care is not over." [Tonko office]
+ More reaction from New York officials. [TU]

Lake George boat crash trial
Thursday featured the closing arguments for both the prosecution and defense. Cheryl Coleman, Alexander West's attorney, tried to create an equivalency between West and the driver of the other boat, Robert Knarr, because he said he'd had wine with dinner that night. Warren County DA Kate Hogan, referencing West's alleged drug and alcohol use throughout that day: "What's good for the goose is good for the gander? Are you kidding me?" [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Crossgates gunfire trial
Thursday included the closing arguments in the trial of Tasheem Maeweather, accused of firing a gun in the incident that prompted a lockdown at Crossgates. Maeweather's attorney, Lee Kindlon, argued the the prosecution lacked evidence: "They want you to be afraid of a young black male walking through the mall." (Here's an overview of the trial.) [Spectrum] [WNYT] [Altamont Enterprise]

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Faso and Stefanik will vote yes on AHCA, West doesn't testify in Lake George boat crash trial, off-duty officer says he saw Crossgates shooting

American Health Care Act
+ John Faso issued a statement Thursday morning saying that he will support vote for the amended American Health Care Act. [John Faso]
+ After initially decline to state her intentions this morning, Elise Stefanik told HuffPost she's also a "yes" vote. [@MEPFuller]
+ Paul Tonko on Twitter: "To be clear: despite what @POTUS & @HouseGOP say, #TrumpCare Does. Not. Protect. Those. With. Pre. Existing. Conditions. #VoteNoAHCA #AHCA" [@Tonko4Congress]
+ Andrew Cuomo trashed the legislation, saying it "is an assault on women and an assault on New York," and calling on New York's Congressional delegation to vote against it. [TU]

Lake George boat crash trial
The defense in the Lake George boat crash trial of Alexander West rested its case on Wednesday, without testimony from West.The defense decided against having West testify because it didn't want to risk having suppressed evidence from blood tests revealed on cross examination. West's father testified for his son, claiming that Alex West reacted with "utter disbelief" when he learned the crash resulted in the death of 8-year-old Charlotte McCue. [Spectrum] [Gazette][TU]

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Witnesses didn't see Crossgates shooting defendant with gun, State Police to patrol Albany neighborhoods, Boy Scouts to close longtime local camp

Crossgates gunfire trial
Seven witnesses, including a mall Santa, testified on Tuesday that they did not see Tasheem Maeweather, the defendant in the Crossgates gunfire trial, with a gun at any point. [WNYT][TU]

State Police to patrol Albany neighborhoods
Andrew Cuomo was at the main branch of the Albany Public Library on Tuesday to announce a plan for State Police officers to patrol some violence plagued Albany neighborhoods in an effort to combat gang activity. [TU][Gazette]

Stefanik and Faso on health care bill
Both Elise Stefanik and John Faso say they are still undecided on the latest proposed Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act. [TU]


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Defense expert witness testifies in Lake George boat crash trial, Crossgates gunfire incident trial starts, Lyft angling to pick up passengers at ALB, ghostly child or child-like ghost?

Lake George boat crash trial
Monday included testimony from Eric McCue, the father of Charlotte McCue, as the last prosecution witness, describing how he remembered the crash, seeing the other boat above him: "I noticed it was white, and then I watched it kind of traverse the rest of our boat and ultimately cross it up by where Charlotte and Courtney were sitting." There was also continued testimony from the prosecution's expert witness, and testimony from the defense expert witness, who said on cross examination that Alexander West's boat hit the boat that was carrying the McCues. [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum] [TU]

Crossgates gunfire trial
The trial of Tasheem Maeweather -- accused of firing a gun during the incident that prompted a lockdown of Crossgates -- started Monday with jury selection and discussions of the number and recollections of eyewitnesses. During opening statements, the prosecutor alleged the incident was the result of tension between two rival groups and accused Maeweather of going to the mall to settle a score. Maeweather's attorney told the jury that his client didn't fire a gun and "this case is about perception versus reality." [TU] [News10][ WNYT] [Spectrum]

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Expert witness testifies in Lake George boat crash trial, differences in how restaurants are inspected, Lincoln Park pool to open this summer

Lake George boat crash trial
Friday included testimony from an expert witness for the prosecution who reconstructed the crash. The retired state trooper, who teaches marine law enforcement, testified that it appeared Alexander West's boat had been traveling 22-25 miles per hour just ahead of the crash, and the other boat was traveling 5-8 miles per hour. The defense tried to knock down the credibility of the witness and West's attorneys said they will put their own expert witness on the stand. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [Spectrum]

Crossgates gunfire trial
With the trial set to start Monday, the attorney for the man accused of firing the shots that prompted the evacuation of Crossgates last November says the DA's office offered a plea deal but he and his client aren't interested because the case is weak. [TU]

Restaurant inspections
There appears to be a divergence in how state and county health inspectors assess restaurant violations, according to an analysis by the Times Union. [TU]

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Grandfather gives emotional testimony in Lake George boat crash trial, the push for police to use a "textalyzer," signs of a brewery project in Troy

Lake George boat crash trial
Robert Knarr -- Charlotte McCue's grandfather -- testified Thursday about the night of the crash, sobbing as recounted the events: "We were home, basically, and we were driving comfortably and then I heard a loud 'bang, bang, bang.'" The day also included the playing of video of a police interview with Alexander West in which he asserted he had only had two beers earlier in the day, a contention that's been disputed by testimony from earlier witnesses in the trial. [News10] [Spectrum] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Textalyzer
Legislators in the state Assembly and Senate are pushing a bill that would allow police to use a device to determine whether a mobile phone was being used during a crash -- without a warrant. Attorneys say use of the device would raise Constitutional and privacy questions. [TU] [News10]

A $2.55 million settlement and a mystery
The family of Slingerlands woman who suffered a serious brain injury at the Loudonville home of a prominent family has settled a lawsuit for $2.55 million -- but they say they still don't know what happened that night in 2011. [TU]

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Split verdict in UAlbany bus trial, more drug testimony in West trial, $350 thousand price tag for unplanned Schenectady demolitions

UAlbany bus trial
The two former UAlbany students who claimed they were the victims of a racially motivated attack on a CDTA bus 15-months ago were found guilty on Wednesday of filing a false report, but were acquitted of assault and harassment charges. Asha Burwell and Ariel Agudio could each face jail time, and are currently under a 9pm curfew until their sentencing in June. Their attorneys say the case should never have come to court. [TU][Gazette][WNYT][Spectrum]

West trial
+Alexander West testified on Wednesday that he was aware there was cocaine on his boat the night he crashed into another boat, killing an eight year old girl. Attorneys for West worked out a deal for him to share the information, claiming the knowledge didn't amount to usage. Prosecutors also attempted to discredit a witness who had an on-again, off-again relationship with West and stated he was flirting with her and seemed drunk on the day of the crash.

+Sara Foss shares thoughts on the drug and partying subculture behind the Alexander West incident.
[TU][Gazette][Spectrum][Gazette]

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Witnesses testify to cocaine use in Lake George boat crash trial, deliberations underway in bus attack trial, wreck claims life of 18-year-old Coeymans man, state delays Albany budget report again

Lake George boat crash trial
Jurors in the Alexander West trial on Tuesday heard from two women who testified they snorted cocaine on with West in the hours before the fatal boat crash that killed an 8-year-old girl, but it was left unclear how much cocaine West consumed or exactly how much he had to drink before the crash.[TU][Gazette]

UAlbany bus incident trial
Deliberations are underway in the UAlbany bus attack trial. In closing arguments the defense claims his clients, the women who claimed they were attacked, were acting in self defense, and asked the jury to remember the questions of racial bias in the case, while prosecutors say the video in the case shows it is not a question of racial bias, but truth.[Gazette][TU]

18-year-old killed in Albany County wreck
An 18-year-old man Coeymans man was killed and his passenger injured after their car crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a Freightliner tractor on River Road in Bethlehem. [Gazette][TU]

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Defendants testify in UAlbany bus incident trial, emotional testimony in Lake George boat crash trial, giving birth along the Thruway

UAlbany bus incident trial
Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell took the stand in the trial Monday and continued to stick with their version of events during the incident. And the connotation of the word "ratchet" continued to be at issue, with Agudio asserting it had a racist tone as used: "In that situation, I feel like she only said it because we were black." And Burwell said she heard someone use the "n" word. [TU] [Spectrum] [WNYT]

Lake George boat crash trial
Courtney McCue -- the mother of Charlotte McCue, the 8-year-old who died in the crash -- testified Monday and broke down while answering questions about that night: "I looked to my left and Charlotte wasn't moving. She wasn't responding. She was really hurt." McCue also detailed the serious injuries she sustained, including a fractured spine. And when she was shown a picture of her injured leg: "That's where my daughter's head was when it was crushed." [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU] [Spectrum] [Post-Star]

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Reviewing allegations of police brutality in Schenectady, retail crunch ripples hit local municipal budgets, legislature looking at allowing booze at movie theaters

Schenectady police
Brendan Lyons reviews recent allegations of police brutality in Schenectady: "Interviews with people involved in violent encounters with Schenectady police, and a review of videos and court records, raise questions about whether the department began slipping back to its old ways in recent years." [TU]

Fatal Schenectady fire
The Schenectady Fire Department says one person died in a fire on Green Street overnight (map). Four others were able to escape. SFD is investigating the cause. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

UAlbany bus incident trial
Friday included testimony from two alleged victims in the bus incident, along with 11 other students who had been on the bus that night. [Spectrum] [TU]

Lake George boat crash trial
+ Friday included testimony from eight witnesses, including an off-duty detective who said he watched and heard the scene when Alexander West's boat docked following the crash. [Daily Gazette]
+ Robert Gavin considers the testimony of Cara Mia Canale -- "straight out of central casting -- from a 'Cheech & Chong' movie" -- and whether it helped or hurt the prosecution. [TU]

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UAlbany bus incident trial focuses on the word "ratchet," remembering Sol Greenberg, AG says local architect wasn't actually an architect, a decade of the Veggie Mobile

UAlbany bus incident trial
+ A main topic of questioning and witness testimony at the trial Thursday: whether anyone heard racial slurs used on the bus, and what their understanding of the connotations of the term "ratchet" were. [TU] [Spectrum]
+ Among the witnesses called was a UAlbany police detective, who was asked by Aasha Burwell's attorney whether it was his job to "track down any aspect of the case to see if there was a racial component" and responded: "I don't know if it was my job. My job was to find the truth of what happened." [WNYT]

Lake George boat crash trial
Cara Mia Canale, a passenger in Alexander West's boat, testified for the prosecution Thursday that she witnessed West drinking and taking drugs throughout the day of the crash -- and that she had also taken drugs. And of the crash itself: "We hit something extremely hard...I remember kind of going airborne almost and coming down in the water." West's attorney challenged Canale on cross examination, asking her if she was on drugs at the moment -- Canale said no -- and questioning why she had changed her initial story from the day. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum]

Sol Greenberg
Remember Sol Greenberg, the longtime Albany County DA who died this week at age 95. [TU]

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Witnesses testify in UAlbany bus incident, testimony begins in Lake George boat crash trial, Anderson announces mayoral bid, letters from 1940s Albany

UAlbany bus trial
Jurors saw video of the UAlbany bus incident on Wednesday and heard from some of the people who recorded video of the altercation on their phones. Witnesses who testified said they could not tell if the fight was racially motivated. One juror had to be replaced by an alternate after he fell asleep twice during testimony, was an hour late to court on Wednesday, and two deputies had to bring him to the courthouse. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Lake George boat trial
Jurors in the trial of Alexander West on Wednesday heard the 911 tape from the night of the boat crash that killed 8-year-old Charlotte McCue in July of last year. They also heard testimony from McCue's step-grandmother in the case. In her opening statements, Warren County DA Kate Hogan said West drank throughout the day and snorted cocaine prior to the crash. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]


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Opening arguments in UAlbany bus trial, jury in place for Lake George Boating trial,Emma Willard report on sexual abuse over 70 years

UAlbany bus trial
+Opening statements got underway on Tuesday in the trial of two women charged with falsely reporting an attack on a CDTA bus last year. The defense stated that racial bias was a part of the case, prosecutors told jurors" "You're not here to solve all the racial woes of society; your job is to decide this case based on the facts and the indictment."[TWCN][Gazette]

+Chris Churchill looks at jury selection and the question of race in the trial.

Lake George Boating trial
The trial of Alexander West, charged in the boating crash that claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl on Lake George last summer, gets underway today. [TU][Gazette]

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Jury selection in UAlbany bus incident trial, TSA: pilot had gun in his bag at ALB, step forward for First Prize Center redev plan, Rue has been re-homed

UAlbany bus incident trial
+ Jury selection in the trial of the two women charged in last year's Albany bus incident took most of Monday. [WNYT]
+ Before jury selection, attorneys for the women argued that the intense public attention on the case had tainted the jury pool and asked for a change of venue -- a request denied by the judge. [TU]
+ The Albany County DA's office said four charges against one of the women were dropped because a witness was not available to testify. [News10]
+ Chris Churchill: "It won't be an easy or pleasant trial." [TU+]

Lake George boat crash trial
The first day of the trial in last summer's fatal Lake George boat crash focused on jury selection, with attorneys asking potential juries about how they view accidents. Many of the potential jurors said they didn't think they could objective about the case. [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [TU]

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A look at a year of gun violence in Albany, Cuomo pushes back on free tuition plan criticism, a shortage of "starter" homes

Gun violence in Albany
The Times Union included an extensive look at the past year of gun violence in the city of Albany by Emily Masters:
+ There were 63 incidents of gunfire in the city in 2016 -- injuring 28 people and killing one -- and many of them were in West Hill. [TU]
+ The details of some of the those incidents. [TU]
+ A profile of Albany Cure Violence, the org trying to disrupt the pattern of gun violence in the city. [TU]

Halfmoon standoff
State Police used tear gas to end a standoff with a man in Halfmoon Monday morning. The standoff started Sunday, and police say one shot was fired at them and multiple shots were fired inside the home. [TU] [News10]

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Health care big topic for Faso TV town hall, body found on tracks in Rensselaer, Schenectady County considers rolling back allowed fireworks

Faso TV town hall
+ A big topic during John Faso's TV town hall event on WMHT Thursday evening: health care, and his support of the effort to replace the Affordable Care Act -- "My approach with the ACA is keep what works and fix what doesn't." [NYSNYS/Daily Freeman] [TU]
+ The studio audience for the event was about 80 people, and a crowd of about 100 people gathered outside to protest. [News10]
+ Paul Tonko has a town hall-style event scheduled for next Thursday at Skidmore. [Daily Gazette]

School budgets
+ Because of an unusually large increase in state aid, the Albany school district is proposing a budget that adds multiple new programs -- but doesn't include a tax increase. [TU]
+ The Troy school district got less in state aid than officials were hoping, and its superintendent said the result was a "tough" budget. [Troy Record]

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AG seizes Abelove's email, teen pleads not-guilty in Blessings Tavern crash, hundreds of pounds of bricks fall from Western Ave building, Cuomo signs free tuition legislation

Suspect in fatal Albany shooting may have City Hall connection
The Times Union is reporting that the nephew of Albany City Councilman Mark Robinson is a suspect in the shooting that killed the brother of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan's adopted son earlier this week. The paper cites "law enforcement sources" indicating an investigation into a potential retaliation scenario involving an early incident of gunfire. [TU]

Albany homicides
The murder of Christopher Hardy is Albany's fifth homicide since Thanksgiving. [TWCN]

AG's office seizes Abelove's email
The NYS Attorney General's office has seized the email of Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove as part of an investigation into Abelove's handling of Edson Thevenin by a Troy police officer.[TU]

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Albany homicide victim connected to mayor, Chief Justice John Roberts visits RPI, Shen board asked to turn over land, Tuesday heat a Capital Region record


Albany homicide victim had a family connection to mayor
The 27-year-old father shot to death in West Hill on Saturday was the biological brother of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan's adopted son. "It's a call that I never thought I would ever get," said Sheehan. [WNYT][TU]

College tuition
The new plan for tuition-free state college tuition for qualifying New York State students would affect traditional students coming directly from high school who finish school on time -- something New York State students seem to be doing less frequently. [NYT]

Ethics
The New York Times on the state ethics legislation that didn't pass again this year. [NYT]

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Free-tuition plan includes in-state live/work requirement, reviewing first year of Albany's LEAD program, celebrity rooster unconcerned by your schedule

State budget
Bits and reaction as people pick through the state budget...

+ On Monday Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation that raises the state's age of criminal responsibility for many crimes. [Spectrum]

+ Cuomo on the provision of the plan for free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools -- the Excelsior Scholarship -- that requires recipients to live and work in New York State for the number of years they receive the scholarship: "Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education, and then you pick up and move to California?" [TU+]

+ A look how the school aid totals shook out for Capital Region school districts -- the Schenectady and Albany school districts got relatively large increases. Though, as Schenectady superintendent Larry Spring pointed out, the district still isn't getting the total it's marked for under the "Foundation Aid" formula. [TU] [Spectrum]

+ The new budget again includes a big barrel of pork that's distributed with little transparency. [TU+]

+ Business leaders seem relatively happy with many aspects of the budget glob of legislation, including ride hailing expansion and the re-privatization of NYRA. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

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There's a state budget, ride hailing expansion part of budget deal, Nicholaus Building demolished, teen swept through sewer

State budget
There's now a $153 billion state budget -- about a week late -- after a deal announced Friday night on a bunch of different issues and rolled into a big package of legislation voted on this past weekend. Among those issues... [NYT] [TU]

Age of criminal responsibility
There's now a plan raise the state's age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 for many crimes, though advocates for the change say the plan is a half step. [Politico NY x2]

Free SUNY and CUNY tuition
There's a schedule to phase in free SUNY and CUNY tuition for students from families with incomes less than $125,000 a year. (The state's private colleges have been, and continue to be, critical of the plan.) [AP/Troy Record] [News10]

Ride hailing
There's a measure that allows services such as Uber and Lyft to start operating across the state later this year. [Daily Gazette]

School aid
The budget includes a billion dollar increase in aid for school districts -- Schenectady is getting another $15 million, and its superintendent is talking about a tax cut. [NYS DOB] [Daily Gazette]

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State budget process inches ahead, larger budget surplus for Troy, Sheehan touts record ahead of formal announcement that's she's running again

State budget past deadline
The march toward a state budget continues a step or two at a time, though maybe not always forward...
+ The state Senate has gone home for the moment, but the state Assembly will be in session Friday "a long day" to take up more budget bills. [Politico NY]
+ Are leaders closer to a deal on the issues that are holding up the overall process? Maybe, who knows. [State of Politics]
+ One of the things still not nailed down is state aid for school districts, and the uncertainty is causing problems as local officials try to get district budgets set. [TU]

Troy budget
The projected general fund surplus for the city of Troy is $2.6 million, according to a report from the Madden admin, "derived from one-time unanticipated revenues, aggressive approach to revenue collection, non-recurring budgetary savings in expenditures, and tight spending controls." That's more than double the 2015 surplus. Patrick Madden: "I anticipate that there are going to be those who say, 'Well, great news, but why did you need a tax increase for 2017?' and there are going to be others who say, 'Excellent news. Now, we can fix the pools,' but I want to be careful. The factors that led to a surplus in 2016 are unique to 2016." [Madden admin] [TU] [Troy Record]

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Budget negotiations slow as Senate leaves for break, fate of Schenectady's Nicolaus Building in legal limbo, Plug Power inks $600 M deal with Amazon

Budget
Budget progress made on Tuesday night slowed on Wednesday. Andrew Cuomo said there were three main sticking points on the NYS budget : affordable housing, charter schools and a deal to raise the age of criminal responsibility. Cuomo, who has pushed for on-time budgets in the past, says he is alright with delaying the budget until after the legislature's break -- which is scheduled to begin today-- because the state could use more time to get a sense of cuts that could be coming to New York from the federal government . He also reiterated an anticipated need for mid year budget adjustments in 2018. Senate has left for the break with a promise to return only for a complete budget agreement, but Assembly is expected to continue to work on Thursday. Lawmakers won't get paid until the budget is passed. [TU][NYT][CapCon][Politico][Spectrum][News 10][WNYT]

Flooding
The Capital Region is preparing for minor flooding stemming from rain this week and snow melt. [TU]

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NY budget could happen this week -- or not, state spending plan includes $12.5 M for Albany, Shen voters reject proposed land sale, Sotomayor speaks at Sage and UAlbany

Budget agreement on the horizon
+ An agreement on raising the age of criminal responsibility ended a legislative deadlock over the state budget. Following the agreement, a half dozen bills were passed on Tuesday night and it's possible that a full spending plan could be passed by the end of the week. Earlier this week, legislators approved a budget extension measure -- and Andrew Cuomo says waiting until after the Easter break is fine, but Carl Heastie says he wants a spending plan passed before the break. [NYT][TWCN][WNYT][Politico][TU]

+ One of the bills introduced on Tuesday includes $12.5 million in aid for Albany -- and the money is not a "spin-up" payment on the Empire State PILOT. [TU]

Clifton Park land sale rejected by voters
Shen school district voters overwhelmingly rejected the district proposal pto sell 32 undeveloped acres of land to BBL Construction. Tuesday's final vote count was 5,442 to 2,323 against selling the land. [Gazette][Saratogian]

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Legislature passes budget extenders, Sonia Sotomayor visits, concerns voiced about Rezone Albany, it's Free Cone Day

State budget past deadline
With the state now past its deadline for a new budget...
+ The state Senate and Assembly approved budget extender legislation Monday that will fund the government through the end of May. (And state employees will be paid this week.) [TU x2]
+ Though the government will keep running, the lack of a new budget creates significant uncertainty about aid for local school districts as they head toward budget votes later this spring. Also left hanging: The city of Albany and its push for $12.5 million in additional aid. [TU] [News10]
+ Legislators aren't happy about the situation -- and there's a lot finger pointing, especially at Andrew Cuomo. [Politico NY] [TU] [Spectrum]
+ The hang-up for the budget continues to be a handful of proposals that are not necessarily budget related, such as the push to raise the criminal age of responsibility. [NYT]
+ The budget extenders include almost $1.8 billion for Cuomo admin economic development projects. [Politico NY]

Sonia Sotoymayor
Sonia Sotomayor's visit to the Capital Region this week included a talk with Albany Law students Monday evening. She'll be at Sage Tuesday morning, and then at UAlbany Tuesday evening for an event open to the public. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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State budget past deadline, middle school space crunch in Albany, local history in mural form

State budget past deadline
The deadline for an on-time state budget was the end of Friday -- but as of Monday morning, there was no budget:
+ Andrew Cuomo is proposing a resolution that would extend the current budget through May and keep the government running -- though state legislators would not be paid while its in effect. The legislature can approve the extender in full or reject it outright, there's no in between. [State of Politics] [Politico NY]
+ The budget process is apparently hung up on outside issues that have been folded into the budget, notably the proposal to raise the criminal age of responsibility. [NYT]

Albany shootings
Albany police say they're investigating two shootings over the weekend -- the shooting of a 61-year-old man in the South End Saturday evening (map), and the shooting of a 29-year-old man Sunday afternoon in Pine Hills (block map). APD said Sunday it didn't know if the two shootings were related. [APD x2]

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State budget deadline day, 30 days for strangulation death, debate over Saratoga Springs class, concerns about RPI's hockey program

State budget deadline
+ The state budget is due by the end of Friday, but it looks like it won't be done and the process is headed into into stoppage time this weekend. [TU] [State of Politics]
+ Among them major issues tangled in the budget process: The push to raise the state's criminal age of responsibility from 16 to 18. A done deal? Maybe -- maybe not. [State of Politics] [TU]
+ Another issue tacked onto the budget process: Legislation to allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operated statewide. Is it going to happen? Probably, maybe. [Politico NY]

Sentencing in strangulation death
The Wilton man who pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the strangulation death of neighborhood during a disagreement over loud music has been sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years probation, and restitution of more than $8k. The DA's office pointed to extenuating circumstances, including a heart condition, that contributed to the man's death. The victim's wife: "That was a sentence for a jaywalker." [News10] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

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Ride sharing and college tuition still on the table as budget deadline looms, underground fire closes part of State Street near Proctors, Tony Soprano and the plan to memorize Pi

State budget
New York's budget is due Friday at midnight and legislators continue negotiations. Major issues still on the table include making college more accessible and expanding taxi ride-sharing upstate and raising the age of criminal responsibility. [TWCN][Politico][WNYT]

Schenectady underground fire
An underground explosion and fire has closed a portion of State Street in front of Proctors in Schenectady. [TU][Gazette]

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Cuomo rating up in new Q Poll, federal cuts may affect NY budget plan, fewer local opt outs on state exams, fixing up FDR's Packard

Q Poll shows hike in Cuomo's approval
The latest Quinnapiac poll shows Andrew Cuomo's approval rating at a two year high of 52%, while Donald Trump's rating is at 29 percent. [Politico]

State budget
New York's budget deadline is three days away and Andrew Cuomo says deals are close on policy items like expanding ride sharing outside NYC and raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York. but Cuomo is concerned about the impact federal funding cuts could have on the state budget. Cuomo also said on Tuesday that he won't sign a budget without a wage hike for workers who care for workers who care for people with developmental disabilities. [TU][NYT][News10]

Albany budget
While New York State is concerned about the impact of the federal budget on New York's spending plan, Kathy Sheehan is concerned with getting $12.5 million from the state to balance Albany's budget.Sheehan is also concerned about the impact of Albany's sanctuary city designation and what that could mean for federal funding to the city, since earlier this week Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to pull funding for sanctuary cities -- but Sheehan reaffirmed that Albany will remain a sanctuary city. [TWCN][WNYT]

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Extension for the state budget?, push for recorded interrogations, question incentives to keep jobs upstate, shooting in Albany, three minutes of alpaca

State budget
The state budget is due by the end of Friday -- but Andrew Cuomo is talking about the possibility of an "extender budget" that would continue the state's current budget, citing concerns about uncertainty in how funding for the state will shake out in the federal budget. (Is this just a negotiating tactic on the part of the governor? Maybe!) [TU] [Politico NY] [State of Politics]

Recorded interrogations
Advocates were at the Capitol Monday pushing for a requirement that all police interrogations in violent felony cases be recorded on video. And Adrian Thomas, who was eventually acquitted of killing his infant son in Troy in 2008 in a case that included a recorded confession that he says was coerced by police, was there to lend his support to the proposal. A bill passed by the state Senate and backed Andrew Cuomo would expand recorded interrogations, but advocates say it doesn't go far enough and wouldn't have required video in the case of Thomas. [Spectrum] [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [News10] [TU]

Peter Young
Peter Young Housing Industries and Treatment is asking a court to stop the state from cutting off the funding for its programs in the Capital Region, and accuses a state official of "egregious bureaucratic bullying." [TU]

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Questioning the billions spent on upstate economic development, final stretch for state budget, point of contention for ride sharing, Union hockey crashes out of NCAA tournament

Jobs, jobs, jobs?
Job growth upstate has lagged the national average during Andrew Cuomo's administration. And a review by by a coalition of investigative reporting orgs of the billions spent by the state on economic development iniatitives concludes "the state's substantial investment in the upstate economy has not generated many jobs." [Investigative Post/TU x2]

American Health Care Act
Local Congressional rep reaction to the Republican health care bill crashing:
+ Democrat Paul Tonko, who had opposed the plan: "It's about life and death choices. Rather than victory laps here, we need to acknowledge that voices, email, social media across span of weeks is what saved health care for 24 million Americans." [TU]
+ Republican John Faso, who had supported the plan and been a backer of New York-only provision to shift Medicaid costs from counties to the state (the subject of much criticism from Andrew Cuomo), called for the two major parties to work together on health care "in an incremental way where we can find bipartisan consensus because it's clear we can't rely just on Republican votes to pass these reforms." [WNYT]
+ Republican Elise Stefanik, who didn't publicly state how she would vote on the plan, in a released statement: "I am committed to achieving a 21st century healthcare system and will continue to work to replace Obamacare with reforms that lower costs, increase access and improve quality for hard working North Country families." [Stefanik office]

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Stefanik undecided on health care vote, crunch time for Albany state aid, ShopRite considering Clifton Park

American Health Care Act
+ A spokesman for Elise Stefanik said Thursday evening she's still undecided about how to vote on the American Health Care Act and was waiting to review the final text of the legislation. Earlier Thursday about a hundred people held a "die in" outside Stefanik's office in Glens Falls, urging her to vote no. [Post-Star] [News10]
+ Andrew Cuomo argued Thursday that a provision in the American Health Care Act that would shift Medicaid costs from New York counties outside NYC to the state -- and only do so in New York State -- is unconstitutional and said the state is considering a lawsuit if the provision becomes law. [TU]

Fatal Troy shooting
Troy police say the man shot Thursday morning near Prospect Park has died. TPD says it's looking for two men and the shooting does not appear to be random. [TWCN] [Troy Record] [News10]

State funding for Albany
With the state budget deadline approaching, Albany city officials say they're cautiously optimistic the city will get the additional $12.5 million in state aid on which the current city budget relies -- but are preparing for cuts if the money doesn't come through. [TU]

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Abelove files civil suit over Cuomo order, Capital Region population rank drops, unattended cooking oil blamed for Colonie fire, Siena students create arm for 7-year-old Ugandan girl

Abelove
Less than a week after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office seized the cellphone of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove in an investigation into the death of a civilian in a confrontation with police, has filed a civil complaint in state Supreme Court seeking to overturn Andrew Cuomo's order giving the NYS attorney general authority to supersede local DAs in such cases. [TU]

Capital Region population
Fixed According to newly released U.S. Census data, Capital Region population rank relative to other metros slipped a few places. [TU]

NY Dems lobby against ACA repealing replace
Top state officials are doing some last minute lobbying to try to influence House Republicans from NY to vote against the measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [Gazette][TU]

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Faso/Collins ACA amendment causes uproar, Colonie apartment fire displaces 100, Child hit by school bus in Troy, PFOA troubled Hoosick Falls elects new mayor


Faso/Collins ACA amendment causes state concerns
An amendment to ACA legislation proposed by Congressmen John Faso and Chris Collins, that would only affect New York State, would relive counties outside of New York City of responsibility for Medicaid, shifting their portion of payment to the state. The plan, which also calls for a property tax cut, has angered Andrew Cuomo, and caused mixed reaction in both parties. [WNYT][Spectrum][Buffalo News][NYT]

Colonie apartment fire
Three people were hospitalized, one is seriously injured, and about 100 were left homeless after fire broke out in a kitchen of a Colonie apartment building. [Gazette][TU][News 10]

Child hit by school bus
A 6-year-old boy was hit by a school bus in Troy early Wednesday morning. The Child was sent to the hospital with lacerations and non life threatening injuries. [News 10][TU]

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Police say man painted swastikas on his own house, New York-specific provision for Republican health care plan, prospects not good for Empire State Trail funding

Swastika graffiti
Remember that story from February in which a Schenectady man said he went outside and found that someone had spray painted swastikas on his home? Schenectady police say they now believe the man did it himself and he's been arrested on misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident charge. He's also been ticketed for harassment for allegedly threatening a person in February. [Daily Gazette February 2017] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy police officer charged with DWI
The off-duty Troy police officer accused of crashing into a Colonie police vehicle while driving drunk has pleaded not guilty. His attorney says he's been suspended from his job, which TPD didn't confirm Monday evening. [News10] [TU]

American Health Care Act
The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives has inserted a special New York-only provision into their chamber's version of the American Health Care Act in attempt to sway Republican House members from the state -- it would shift Medicaid costs from non-NYC counties to the state, a move that's been sought by many county officials around the state. Both John Faso and Elise Stefanik say they support the provision. [NYT] [The Hill] [HuffPo] [TU]

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Fatal crash following chase, Tonko not a fan of health care bill, back-and-forth continues over Peter Young programs, 50 episodes about Steven Raucci?

Fatal crash after chase
State Police say one man died -- and two State Troopers were injured -- during an episode Saturday night in which the man led police on a high-speed chase from Schoharie County to Rotterdam, where he crashed his vehicle into dump truck hauling snow. State Police say the man had indicated in a call to his girlfriend that he intended to kill himself by crashing into something. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Police conduct
+ Brendan Lyons reports that a Schenectady police lieutenant was suspended following an incident "in which a woman's head was split open when she was picked up and slammed down onto a station bench by two officers, and then charged with a crime that portrayed her as the aggressor." He reports there's video of the incident. [TU]
+ An off-duty Troy police officer was charged with DWI following a crash into a Colonie police vehicle early Saturday morning in Colonie. Troy police say the officer has been "relieved of his duties" pending an investigation. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]
+ An association that represents district attorneys statewide has decided to not file a brief in support of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove's challenge of the Cuomo executive order giving the state Attorney General authority to review cases in which unarmed civilians die during interactions with police. (Investigators with the state AG's office recently seized a county-owned phone used by Abelove as part of their investigation into Abelove's handling of the grand jury review of the death of Edson Thevenin in Troy.) [TU]

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Snow clearing continues, Rensselaer County DA's phone seized, New York pushback against proposed Trump budget, floating tiki bars

Snow clearing
Snow emergencies continue to be in effect in Albany and Troy.
+ In Troy, some residents they've been confused by the rules for the snow emergency. (Troy rarely declares snow emergencies.) And crews say they've been slowed by cars that haven't been moved. [WNYT] [Spectrum]
+ In Schenectady on Thursday, residents of Hamilton Hill were calling attention to streets that were still unplowed. Mayor Gary McCarthy said crews had been slowed by cars that were not observing parking rules. [News10] [WNYT]
+ Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan says crews have moved 25,000 cubic yards of snow to the city's snow dock in Glenmont. (By some back-of-the-envelope math, that's roughly equivalent to a football field piled almost 12 feet high.) [CBS6]

Rensselaer County DA's phone seized
On Thursday investigators from the state Attorney General's office seized a county-owned mobile used by Rensselaer County district attorney Joel Abelove as part of its ongoing investigation into the DA's handling of the grand jury review of the incident in which Troy police fatally shot Edson Thevenin. The judge who signed the search warrant for the phone was state Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally -- the former Rensselaer County DA against whom Abelove had run in a previous election -- a situation Abelove's attorney called "very disconcerting." Abelove's attorney also accused the state AG's office of pursuing the case for political reasons, "that it would polish [Eric Schneiderman's] credentials for higher office." [Troy Record] [TU] [Spectrum]

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Snow emergencies in effect, police search for suspect in Schenectady shooting, cows rescued in barn collapse, RID founder dies at 90

Snow
+Snow emergencies are in effect around the Capital Region as efforts to clear streets after Tuesday's blizzard continue. In Albany cars need to be on the even side of the street until 8pm on Thursday, then they switch to the odd side. Tow trucks are out in the city to remove cars that do not comply. [TWCN][News 10]

+Troy has even instituted a rare snow emergency. [TWCN]

+Snow removal efforts will delay garbage pickup in Schenectady until Saturday. [Gazette]

+Snow days are starting to add up for some districts in the Capital Region. [Gazette]

Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police are seeking a suspect in the shooting of a city man in a busy area of State Street at 2pm on Wednesday. Police say the shooting took place near 787 State street. The victim was taken to Albany Medical Center. [TWCN][Gazette][TU]

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Capital Region digs out after blizzard, snow emergencies announced, PFOA found in Cambridge, Cuomo on Bharara firing -"I haven't followed it"

Snow
+ The Capital Region continues to dig out after Tuesday's blizzard. As much as two feet of snow fell on parts of the region. Schools, malls, New York State offices and pretty much everything else closed on Tuesday. Tractor trailers were banned from I-87 and other area highways. All flights were canceled out of Albany Airport. Today airline service is starting to return, and Amtrak is working to get trains running again, but it's best to check the status of flights and trains before heading to your destination. [TU][WNYT][News10][TWCN]

+ Snow emergencies are in effect in communities around the region while crews attempt to clear the roadways. Albany's snow emergency goes into effect at 8 pm Wednesday. [WNYT][

+Schenectady used GPS to help them clear the streets more effectively on Tuesday. Gazette]

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Blizzard warning issued, projecting Preet Bharara probabilities, expansion of Albany County styrofoam ban voted down

Blizzard
+ The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the area through Wednesday morning: "Extremely dangerous travel conditions due to snow covered roads, white-out conditions along with blowing and drifting snow." [NWS Albany]
+ Snow totals are now forecasted to be in the range of two feet. [NWS Albany]
+ The governor has declared a state of emergency in all counties and directed non-essential state employees in affected areas to stay home. [Cuomo admin]
+ Many local offices, businesses, and other places are closed today. If you're wondering if it's closed, the answer is probably yes.
+ CDTA says that, for now, it's running on its regular schedule today. (Though there are sure to be delays.) But keep checking for updates if you plan on riding. [CDTA]
+ The city of Albany has issued a snow emergency starting Wednesday at 8 pm with EVEN side parking. [City of Albany]

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Preet Bharara is out as US Attorney, early look at casino revenue, Albany school district considers Muslim holidays, Troy as a software spot

Preet Bharara is out
+ On Friday The Trump administration asked for the resignations of the 46 US Attorneys that were holdovers from the Obama administration -- including Preet Bharara, whose office prosecuted Sheldon Silver, Dean Skelos, and as an active case against associates of Andrew Cuomo. And as the high-profile prosecutor declared on Twitter Saturday: "I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired." Bharara's ouster is a bit of a surprise because it appeared he would be staying on after a meeting with Donald Trump late year.
+ Why the change? Speculation includes that Bharara's ouster was a Trump shot at Chuck Schumer (Bharara once worked for Schumer). A group of ethics advocacy orgs had also recently asked Bharara to investigate where Donald Trump was in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which was noted by the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. [Politico NY] [NPR] [ABC News]
+ Because New York and politics: "Preet Bharara is out of a job. Will he run for another?" [Politico NY]
+ Among the other US Attorney's let go: Richard Hartunian, whose district included the Capital Region. [TU]

Charge in fatal Washington Park incident
Albany police say the man accused of hitting Rajine Martinez with his SUV in Washington Park and then taking off has been charged with leaving the scene for the February incident. Martinez, who police have said had already been lying in the roadway, later died at the hospital. [APD FB] [TU February 13]

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Forty years in prison for role in killing of Lansingburgh couple, Schneiderman to join challenge to Trump immigration order, Megyn Kelly at Albany Law

Sentencing in death of Lansingburgh couple
Daniel Reuter -- who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killings of Allen and Maria Lockrow in Lansingburgh in 2014 -- was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday. As part of Reuter's plea deal, he testified against co-defendant Jacob Heimroth, who's serving 50 years to life after being convicted of second-degree murder. Said Allan Lockrow's brother afterward of the crime and extended case: "No family should have to go through this. This was brutal." [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

Charges upgraded against Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire
The charges against Antonio Bargallo -- the Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire in their home Saturday -- have been upgraded to include a second-degree murder charge. [TU]

Police looking for adult who slapped child
Rotterdam police released a video Thursday of an adult forcefully slapping a 13-year-old boy inside a gas station, and they're looking for help in identifying the man. Rotterdam Police lieutenant Jeff Collins, to TWCN: "For a person to take out their frustration by striking a juvenile is completely unacceptable." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

Commisso Jr officially declares for Albany mayor
Common Council member Frank Commisso Jr. formally announced Thursday that he's running for mayor of Albany. [TU]

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Hochul: proposed health care plan would have "devastating consequences," body of Johnstown man found in suitcase in Arkansas, EBA theater building sells at auction

Hochul on health care
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that the new Republican health care plan would have "devastating consequences" for New Yorkers, particularly low-income residents. [TU]

Johnstown man's body found in suitcase in Arkansas
A elderly Johnstown man's body has been found in a suitcase in an Alabama field. An investigation is underway, but police believe the man died in Johnstown and the body was driven to Arkansas by people he knew. [Gazette][TWCN][TU]

Marquis Dixon
Marquis Dixon, the teen charged with stealing a pair of sneakers whose sentence was reduced when his case became the center of a high profile effort to gain him youthful offender status, is back in jail after two parole violations. Chris Churchill spoke with Dixon's mother, who says the violations were curfew violations.[TU][TU]

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Capital Region representatives react to Republican health care plan, Troy building to be demolished after fire, Trump immigration polices could affect local tourism and racing industries

Health care
Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Paul Tonko came out in opposition to the health care overhaul plan released by Congressional Republican leadership and the Trump administration Tuesday. Republicans John Faso and Elise Stefanik appeared optimistic but say they are still looking at the plan. [TU][Gazette]

Abelove challenging Cuomo
Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove is asking the state district attorneys association to back him in fighting Andrew Cuomo's order allowing the NYS Attorney General to intervene in cases involving fatal encounters between police officers and unarmed civilians. [TU]

4th Street building coming down
A section of 4th Street in Troy will be closed today as crews tear down a building that was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. [Record]

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Charges likely to be upgraded against man accused of setting wife on fire, Albany council approves Palace transfer plan, more Troy political drama

Charges likely to be upgraded for Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire
Antonio Bargallo -- the Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire in their home Saturday -- is being held without bail and is likely to face upgraded charges later this week (he's currently facing charges that include attempted murder). Said a neighbor of Elizabeth Gonzalez, who died of her injuries Sunday, to the Gazette: "She was a beautiful woman." And one of Gonzalez's sons of the situation, to News10: "That man took everything from me and my little brother that man took a lot. No matter how I want to turn it off, he's still my father." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Palace transfer plan approved
The Albany Common Council voted 12-3 in favor of a proposal to transfer ownership of the Palace Theater to the non-profit org that runs for the venue for $750,000 paid to the city over 30 years -- the proposal also calls for a community benefits plan to be included in the deal. (The Palace is planning a large renovation and expansion, and the org says it needs to have ownership of the building to move forward.) [TU]

March madness
+ The Siena men's basketball team narrowly missed out on a trip to the NCAA tournament, losing to Iona 87-86 in overtime in the MAAC tournament final at the TU Center Monday night. [TU]
+ The UAlbany men's team advanced to the final of the America East tournament with 63-56 win at Stony Brook Monday night. The Great Danes will face Vermont in Burlington Saturday morning with a spot in the NCAA tournament on the line. [UAlbany]

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Schenectady woman dies after being set on fire, 16 agencies respond to bowling alley fight, remembering John Hedley

Police: Woman set on fire
Schenectady police say a woman died after being set on fire in her Eastern Ave neighborhood apartment Saturday. Her husband is accused of pouring gasoline on her and their home and setting her on fire -- he's facing an attempted murder charge that's set to be upgraded. Said a neighbor to the TU who had run outside to smother the fire on the woman with a blanket: "My heart is broken. I really tried to save her -- I really did." [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [WNYT] [TU]

Rape kit testing backlog
The Schenectady police department had a backlog of 75 untested rape kits during a recent review by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services -- the fourth highest total in the state. [TU+]

Schenectady code enforcement
Sara Foss reviews the many questions about the city of Schenectady's code enforcement following the charges against a building inspector related to the fatal Jay Street fire: "Frankly, I have a hard time believing that the conditions that existed at 104 Jay Street -- and the failure to fix them or order them fixed -- are unique." [Daily Gazette]

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Focus on Schenectady code enforcement following Jay Street fire charges, Schumer and Gillibrand call for Sessions to resign, what are those tall poles in Troy for?

Jay Street fire
Said Schenectady County DA Robert Carney Thursday of Schenectady code enforcement officer Kenneth Tyree, who had been arraigned earlier in the day on charges including second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 Jay Street fire that caused the deaths of four people: "He just didn't do his job." The prosecution alleges that building manager Jason Sacks -- who was also charged with second-degree murder Thursday -- had allowed the fire alarm and smoke detection system at 104 Jay St. to be inoperable for five weeks leading up to the fire, and Tyree didn't flag the problem and make the necessary warnings. (A survivor of the fire had said from the start that he never heard a fire alarm.) [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]

The charges against Tyree cast more questions about the state of Schenectady's code enforcement department, the head of which committed suicide last month and friends told the Times Union he had been demoralized about his job. (Carney said Thursd the department head wasn't a target of the investigation and knew that.) The department is set to be audited by the state comptroller's office. [Daily Gazette] [TU+] [TU]

High winds
The high winds Thursday contributed to 35,000 power outages around the region, including one side of Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. [Daily Gazette]

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Charges in 2015 Jay Street fire, Albany council reviews Palace plan, Sage announces new president

Jay Street fire
A Schenectady city code enforcement officer and a property manager were arraigned Thursday morning on charges that include second-degree manslaughter in connection with the 2015 Jay Street fire that killed four people. Among the allegations in the indictments: the property manager "tampered with or otherwise disturbed" the fire and alarm system at 104 Jay St., and that code enforcement officer failed to take required action after "knowing the fire protective system was out of service." Schenectady County DA Robert Carney is expected to release a report on the investigation into the fire today as well. [TU] [Gazette x2]

Threats to JCCs
Andrew Cuomo visited the Albany Jewish Community Center on Wednesday, decrying the rash of bomb threats locally and nationally and promising New York is fully committed to seeing justice done in the case. Cuomo has also announced he'll be taking a trip to Israel. [TWCN][Gazette][TU][NYT]

Windy
High winds caused falling trees and power polls in the Capital Region overnight, resulting inpower outages, blocked roads and some school delays. High winds are expected to continue today. [TU][News 10][Gazette][WNYT]

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Local representatives react to Trump speech, body found in Schenectady, Drue loses appeal in fatal crash, Capital Center set to open

Local representatives react to Trump speech
Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night. Here are a few reactions from local representatives:

+Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the speech had an air of unreality, saying "What the president says and what the president does are almost at opposite ends." [Washington Examiner]

+John Faso was encouraged by Trumps talk about immigration while Paul Tonko believes "It's just smoke and mirrors masquerading as immigration reform,'' [TU]

+ Kirsten Gillibrand says she hopes Trump will support the FAMILY Act based on his acknowledgment of the need for paid leave. [Observer]

Capital Center opens today
The $78 million Capital Center at opens today in downtown Albany, just in time for the MAAC conference basketball tournament. [TU]

Cuomo on Albany spin-up
In a Q&A at the Capitol on Tuesday, Andrew Cuomo said again the the state is working to find a way to close the $12.5 million gap in the Albany city budget but isn't promising the whole total. [TU]


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Not guilty plea in deaths of two women, Hoosick Falls board tables settlement offer, GE engineer held up by immigration order back in Niskayuna

Arrest in connection with deaths of two women
Edward Mero of Albany pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of two women: Shelby Countermine, whose body was found on land owned by the Albany Water Department in Coeymans in May 2015, six months after she was last seen in Schenectady; and Megan Cunningham, whose body was found after a house fire on Arcadia Ave in Albany in January of 2013. State Police said Monday it was only recently that they felt they had enough information for an arrest. Mero's attorney, Cheryl Coleman, pointed to leaks to the media ahead of the indictment being unsealed and criticized the prosecution's case: "[W]hat they did is they clearly opened an investigation where they had two weak cases, put them together and hoped to strengthen them both that way." [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

Hoosick Falls
The Hoosick Falls village board voted to table the proposed $1 million settlement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International over PFOA contamination of the water supply. The meeting featured many speakers against the settlement. Resident Brian Bushner, who's running unopposed for a village trustee spot: "People here deserve better. We deserve to have our bills paid, but we also deserve not to give up our future." [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

Company records: State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democratic member of the Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee, is pushing for the legislature to release to the public records subpoenaed from three companies involved in PFOA contamination of water supplies in Rensselaer County. [TU]

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Man charged in deaths two women years apart, Gillibrand urges Hoosick Falls to hold off on settlement, how much blame does Albany deserve for its budget problems?

Arrest in connection with deaths of two women
An Albany man has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two women: Shelby Countermine, whose body was found on land owned by the the Albany Water Department in Coeymans in 2015; and Megan Cunningham, who died in a house fire on Arcadia Ave in Albany in 2013. An Albany County grand jury has handed up an indictment against 29-year-old Edward (Ted) Mero, who's been on paid leave from the city water department since May of 2015, and he was arrested Friday. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder Monday morning. [News10] [TU x2]

Man missing in Poestenkill Gorge
Troy officials say a man fell into the Poestenkill Gorge Saturday and has not yet been found. Mayor Patrick Madden said the man had been seen climbing rocks when he lost his grip, fell, and did not surface in the water. The Troy Fire Department said turbulent water has limited the search. [TWCN] [News10] [TU]

Gillibrand urges rejection of Hoosick Falls agreement
Kirsten Gillibrand has issued a letter to Hoosick Falls mayor David Borge urging the village board to hold off the proposed $1 million settlement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International to cover costs associated with PFOA contamination of the village water supply. The US Senator expressed concerns about the size of the settlement and the restrictions it would place on the village taking further action in the future. The village board is scheduled to vote on the agreement Monday evening. [TU] [TWCN] [Troy Record]


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Murder charge in Albany infant death, Troy officer honored for actions during shootout, a new life here and a new arm

Albany infant death
A Troy man has been indicted on charges that include second-degree murder in the death of an infant at a residence in Albany earlier this month. Prosecutors allege the man "recklessly engage[d] in conduct which created a grave risk of death that ultimately resulted in the death of a one year old infant". An Albany woman has also been indicted on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Both people have pleaded not guilty. The infant's grandmother tells News10 that woman charged is the boy's mother. Albany police say officers had been called to the apartment on South Allen Street February 6 and found the infant unresponsive -- he as taken to Albany Med and later died. [Albany County DA] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN]

Transgender students
Following a Trump administraion rollback of federal protections for transgender students this week, New York State officials -- including Andrew Cuomo, education commissioner MaryEllen Elia, and attorney general Eric Schneiderman emphasized state protections for transgender students. [Washington Post] [Politico NY]

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Guilty verdict in Best murder, Hoosick Falls considers revised PFOA agreement, Stefanik/Faso constituents call for town halls, the choices that led to closure of Troy's pools

Guilty verdict in Best murder
After five hours of deliberations, a Schenectady jury convicted Bloods member Troy Saunders of first-degree murder, robbery and all other charges in the death of Wayne Best Junior. Saunders could face life without parole.[Gazette][TWCN][TU]

Hoosick Falls
Former EPA administrator Judith Enck is urging Hoosick Falls not to accept a
a newly revised settlement from Honeywell and Saint Gobain that would up compensation for contamination by $195 thousand to $1.04 million. [TWCN][Record][TU]

SUNY Poly
Former NYS Budget Director Bob Megan was appointed on Wednesday as the president of SUNY Poly's two nonprofit development arms. [TU]

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New draft settlement for Hoosick Falls, no charges for firefighter who accidentally shot himself, transgendered woman assaulted at bus stop

Saint Gobain ups Hoosick Falls settlement
A new draft agreement between Hoosick Falls and Saint Gobain adds $195,000 to an original $850,000 agreement for expenses related to PFOA contamination. [TWCN][TU]

Meanwhile, Hoosick Falls mayor David Borge says he agrees with a recent statement by NYS Health Commissioner Howard Zucker that the village now has some of the cleanest drinking water in the nation. [Record]

Petersburgh air
Results taken from a test of the Taconic Plastics facility in Petersburgh show PFOA and other substances are being removed from emissions. [WNYT][TU]

Gibson on McMaster
Chris Gibson served under H.R. McMaster and has high praise for Donald Trumps choice for National Security Advisor. [TU]

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Overflow crowd at local Congressional town hall meeting, opposition to Colonie landfill expansion, SUNY Poly said to be "rudderless," the sordid casino story that maybe wasn't so sordid

Tonko town hall meeting
An overflow crowd of more than 500 people turned out for a town hall-style meeting with Paul Tonko Monday evening in Schenectady. Among the topics: the Affordable Care Act, refugees, manufacturing jobs, and the environment. Said Tonko during the meeting: "When I have a chance to meet with the president, I will share some very strong feelings about climate change, about the environment, about public lands." The crowd appeared generally supportive of the Democrat. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Stefanik and Faso: Neither Elise Stefanik or John Faso have town hall-style meetings scheduled, a recent point of criticism for both Republican Congress members. [Saratogian] [TU]

Gillibrand on Russia and Trump foreign policy
Kirsten Gillibrand during a visit to 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base Sunday: "I am very concerned about another country trying to undermine our elections. Our democracy depends on free and fair elections and so I am concerned by these acts by Russia. I am concerned how the president is reacting to other foreign countries and positioning us in a more volatile way. I'm concerned about the country and our well-being and it's one of the roles I take very seriously on the Armed Services Committee." [TU] [TWCN]

Colonie landfill expansion
A look at the opposition organizing among nearby towns and residents against the proposed expansion of the Colonie landfill near the Mohawk River. [TU+]

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Albany bracing for possibility state aid doesn't come through, push for money to fix sewers and water systems, he was cooking at home

Albany push for state aid
The $12.5 million in additional state aid the Sheehan administration included in the current city of Albany budget was not part of the state budget amendments released Thursday evening. At a press conference Friday morning Kathy Sheehan said she believes the Cuomo admin is "is convinced of our case" and the city would continue to press for the aid with members of the state legislature.

The money represents 7 percent of the current city budget and Sheehan said the city is preparing for the possibility it doesn't come through. She's instituted a hiring a freeze in which any new hire would have to be revenue neutral. And she said the city is reviewing every program -- including events such as Alive at Five, which is now at risk without the aid.

Said Sheehan of the city's request to the state in light of the relatively low amount of money the city gets through the state's regular aid program for municipalities: "The state capital is treated like no other large city in New york State. And I just want to stress that. We are not asking for something extra. We are asking for something that gets us a little closer to parity."

Here's a quick thread by Geoff Redick that includes some context and reaction. [@Redick_TWCNews]

Earlier: Does Albany get a fair share of state aid?

"That's a lurking monster right now"
Jim Tedisco and Phil Steck pushed the case for state legislation that would set up a regular stream of funding for local municipalities to address water and sewer infrastructure. Said Tedisco Thursday: "That's a lurking monster right now and we can pay now or we can pay later." Tedisco has promoted this idea in past years, but he says hopeful of seeing action this time around because he's a now in the state Senate and a member of the majority coalition. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

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Video admissible in Crossgates shooting, D.A. report: Rotterdam police shooting justified, fired Walmart employee sentenced in bank robberies

Video admissible in Crossgates shooting
An acting State Supreme Court judge has ruled that a videotaped conversation between police and Tasheem Maeweather -- the man accused of firing a gun during the November incident in Crossgates that prompted a lockdown of the mall -- will be allowed as evidence in his attempted murder trial. [TU]

Rotterdam police shooting declared justified
Schenectady County DA Robert Carney released a report on Wednesday, stating that the Rotterdam patrolman who shot and killed a knife-wielding veteran in April was justified in the shooting. The report calls the event "an unavoidable tragedy."[TU][TU][Gazette]

Inmate charged with murder
A prison inmate serving time for a non-fatal Hamilton Hill shooting is now facing murder charges in connection with the 2014 shooting death of Angel Carrion in Schenectady's Mont Pleasant neighborhood. [TU][Gazette]


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Rocks suspect rejects plea bargain, Momentive strike ends after 15 weeks, possible Hoosick Falls air pollution, Spa City gets Code Blue shelter

Rocks suspect rejects plea
Kareem Blacknall, the man accused of the fatal shooting at Rocks night club in Albany last November, has rejected a plea bargain of 18 years to life in prison and will stand trial for murder, attempted murder and other charges. Blacknall's lawyers claim he was at the club but that he is not guilty of the shooting.Lawyers for Blacknall say their client is not safe in jail, claiming there is a bounty on his head inside the facility. [TU][TWCN][TU]

Momentive
After 105 days, the strike at Momentive has come to an end.
Union members have approved a new contract, but relations remain strained, particularly over the fate of 25 employees who were fired during the strike.
The union is now working to try to reinstate those employees. [TU][Gazette][Saratogian][WNYT]


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APD: Suspect in fatal Washington Park hit and run, Albany officials explain plowing plan, AMC buys another Park South property, "This is not your fault"

Suspect in fatal Washington Park hit and run
Albany police a man now in custody on a parole violation is a suspect in the recent fatal hit and run in Washington Park -- they allege the Albany man rear ended a vehicle at Henry Johnson and Washington Ave, then fled through the park. APD says the woman killed in the incident, Rajine Martinez, had already been in the road semi-conscious before the crash and two bystanders where trying to help her. [News10] [TWCN] [TU]

Clinton Ave fatal shooting
Albany police have identified the man killed in the shooting in a Clinton Ave home early Sunday morning and say they believe it was not random. [TU]

Alleged safety violations at Warehouse District conversion
The developer behind the conversions of 960 Broadway and the Nipper Building is facing almost $170k in fines for allegedly allowing workers to be exposed to asbestos and lead as well as other safety issues at the 960 Broadway site. The developer is contesting the violations. [OSHA] [TU+]

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Winter continues, fatal shooting in Albany, swastikas painted on Schenectady home, where not to park a school bus

It snow. Again.
+ Winter, it continues: Sunday's storm piled up another 7-8 inches of snow depending on location. [NWS Albany]
+ The city of Albany has declared another snow emergency starting Monday at 8 pm with EVEN side parking. It flips to odd side parking at 8 pm Tuesday. [City of Albany]
+ Albany towed 120 cars during the snow emergency last week. [News10]

Fatal shooting in Albany
Albany police say they responded to a home on the 200 block of Clinton Ave (map) early Sunday morning and a man had been shot in the torso. He was taken to Albany Med and died of his injuries. APD says it's investigating and has asked anyone with info to call the detective division. [News10] [APD]

Rallies for and against Planned Parenthood
A thousand or more people turned out for a rally in support of Planned Parenthood along Central Ave in Albany Saturday, which included appearances by Paul Tonko, Patricia Fahy, and Kathy Sheehan. That same day there was a rally in Troy for the federal government to defund the health care org. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

STROSE_525x80_general 2017.jpg

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Winter reasserts itself, tentative agreement on contract in Momentive strike, Schumer and Gillibrand vote "no", The Wine Shop reopens

Snowstorm
It snowed -- a surprising amount. Totals from around the area for Thursday's storm ranged from 6-18 inches. And the 11.2 inches recorded at ALB was the highest storm total since February 2015. [NWS Albany x2]

Snow emergencies are in effect in a bunch of municipalities, including Albany (where towing started Thursday night). But Troy continued its snow emergency-resistant ways. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

Momentive strike
Officials from Momentive and the union representing striking workers at the plant in Waterford say they've reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, though few details were released. The approximately 700 union members will vote on the contract next week and could be back to work Wednesday. The strike has lasted more than three months. [Politico NY] [Saratogian] [News10] [TU+] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Opening day for Rivers Casino, siblings shot in Albany home, car stolen with toddler inside, Matilda Cuomo to be inducted in National Women's Hall of Fame

Casino opening day
Rivers Casino opens today, and area residents have a mix of hope and concern for what the project will bring to the region. [WNYT][Gazette]

Albany shooting
A brother and sister were hospitalized after they were shot in a home on Washington Avenue in Albany on Tuesday, Albany police say. APD says a man walked into the house and shot the 26 year old man and 21 year old woman. The woman is in critical condition. APD says it's "confident that this is an isolated incident and not a random act." [WNYT] [News 10] [APD press release]

(there's more)

Expectations and hopes for the Schenectady casino, state Senate passes ride hailing bill, number of visitors up at Thacher Park

Schenectady casino
With the opening a day away:
+ A look at the community impacts of the Rush Street Gaming casinos in Pittsburgh and near Chicago, where the results have been something between predicted extremes. [Daily Gazette]
+ Schenectady officials are hoping the casino will be part of a broader upward swing in the city's fortunes. [TWCN]

Albany fatal hit and run
+ Albany police say they've found the vehicle involved in the alleged hit and run that killed a pedestrian in Washington Park Saturday morning, but aren't saying anything beyond that. [TWCN]
+ Remembering the woman who died, 21-year-old Rajine Martinez of Albany. [News10]

Schumer, Gillibrand, and the Trump cabinet
+ Chuck Schumer on Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's pick for education secretary: she's "the least qualified nominee in a historically unqualified cabinet." [TU]
+ Kirsten Gillibrand on the recent upswell in activism and political engagement around the country in response to the Trump administration: "I know so many people have a feeling of a call to action so intensely that they are doing literally everything they can to be heard. I feel like we are watching democracy being enlivened like I've never seen before." [The Alt]

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Pedestrian killed in Washington Park hit and run, continued confusion and uncertainty over immigration order, building the paper pantry

Fatal Albany hit and run
Albany police say they're investigating the death of pedestrian in Washington Park after she was apparently hit by an SUV and the vehicle fled the scene. APD says the woman -- 21-year-old Rajine Martinez of Albany -- was struck around 4 am on Washington Park Road near New Scotland Ave. Police have not commented on what factors may have been involved in the crash, but nearby residents say drivers often speed through the park. [APD] [TU] [News10] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Schenectady casino
+ A look at the many touted economic benefits of the Rivers Casino and Resort, which opens Wednesday in Schenectady. [TU+]
+ A look at some of the concerns people in/near Schenectady have about the project. [Daily Gazette]

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Interfaith vigil for JCC after second bomb threat, Marchione pushes for tax cap that would always be 2 percent, ideas for the old Matten Shipyard

Interfaith vigil in support of Albany JCC
Hundreds of people turned out at the Albany Jewish Community Center Thursday evening for an vigil as a show of support following the second recent bomb threat made against the center this week -- and the event included speakers of many different faiths calling for peace and solidarity. [TU] [WNYT]

Niskayuna woman can't back into the US
The family and friends of a Niskayuna woman -- a French citizen born in Syria who's an electrical engineer at GE -- say she was traveling with her children when the Trump immigrant order was instituted and now can't get back into the US. [WNYT]

State of Troy
In his state of the city address Thursday, Troy mayor Patrick Madden touted new investment in the city and touched on the city's difficult budget situation: "My administration is committed to fact-based budgeting devoid of the political calculations that led us to where we are today." City council president Carmella Mantello said she wanted to hear more about addressing the fiscal challenges. [TU] [TWCN]

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Cuomo authorizes Schneiderman to probe Abelove's handling of fatal shooting, Gillibrand will vote no on Gorsuch, underground blast in downtown Albany

Cuomo authorizes A.G. investigation of Abelove
Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order giving Eric Schneiderman's office the authority to investigate Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove's handling of last April's case of the fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin by a Troy police officer. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Zemsky questioned by lawmakers
"You know, some people are very political and they want to call success failure" -- Empire State Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky on some of the grilling he took from state lawmakers on Wednesday about the states economic development practices, in the wake of corruption allegations and the arrests of ex-SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros and former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, on bid rigging charges. [TWCN][WNYT]

Gorsuch
+Kirsten Gillibrand says she's planning to vote no on Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch claiming he "has proven to have a judicial philosophy outside of the mainstream and time and again has subjugated individual rights to those of corporations." [Gazette]

+Attorney General Eric Schneiderman warned against those who are touting Neil Gorsuch as Scalia 2.0. [TU]

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Schumer casts doubt on Gorsuch, local school districts oppose DeVos, Schneiderman joins ACLU suit against immigration restrictions, Momentive workers take strike to Capitol

Gorsuch
Chuck Schumer on Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch:
"Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women's rights and, most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent justice on the court.'' [Gazette]

DeVos
Capital Region school boards in Albany, Bethlehem and Schenectady have gone public with their opposition to Betsy DeVos' for Education Secretary cleared the Senate.]TU]

In Schenectady, one parent was angered by an anti-DeVos flier sent home with her child this week. [Gazette]

Schneiderman joins ACLU suit over immigration
Eric Schneiderman will join the American Civil Liberties Union and others in their lawsuit against Donald Trump's recent executive order on immigration. [TU]

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Continued reaction to Trump immigration order, Cuomo pushes to put abortion rights into state constitution, Ecovative caught in EPA grant freeze

Continued reaction to Trump immigration order
+ After saying he needed to learn more about the order over the weekend, local Republican Congressman called the Trump administration's immigration order "neither well-drafted nor well-implemented" on Monday. [TU]
+ Local Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko backed Democrat-drafted legislation in the House that would defund and rescind the executive order: "My colleagues and I steadfastly refuse to step aside to let this President throw peaceful, worthy and freedom loving people to the wolves and hand ISIS another recruiting tool in the process." [Tonko office]
+ Western New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins, a longtime Trump supporter, at a Conservative Party event Monday in Colonie: "The liberal media is going nuts over this. [Senator] Chuck Schumer is going nuts over this ... Well, wait a minute: This is a promise [the president] made, and he's doing it in a very sensible way." [TWCN]
+ Donald Trump accused Chuck Schumer of "fake tears" during Schumer's emotional denunciation of the White House's immigration order over the weekend: "I'm going to ask him who was his acting coach, because I know him very well." A Schumer spokesman when asked about what Trump said: "We are not going to dignify that with a response." [TU x2]
+ The president of the Masjid As-Salam mosque in Albany on the events of the weekend: "The Muslim community is very much uncertain and confused." [TWCN]
+ A Sage student from Togo in West Africa who's a practicing Muslim: "I'm scared that I'm going to lose the hope that I came to this country for." [TU+]

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Reactions and pushback to Trump travel ban, Faso in leaked Republican recording of ACA discussion, ShopRite in the mix for North Greenbush plaza

Reaction to Trump travel ban order
Lots of reaction this weekend to the Trump administration's order temporarily blocking all refugees as well as the citizens of seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the US, and the resulting confusing situation as officials tried to figure out how to implement the order:
+ Chuck Schumer, with tears in his eyes: "This executive order is mean spirited and un-American. It was implemented in a way that created chaos and confusion across the country, and it will only serve to embolden and inspire those around the globe who will do us harm." (On Twitter, Donald Trump blamed a Delta computer program and "the tears of Senator Schumer" for problems at airports.) [CNN x2]
+ Andrew Cuomo in a statement: "I never thought I'd see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep. We are a nation of bridges, not walls, and a great many of us still believe in the words 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." The Cuomo admin also set up a hotline for people to report immigration problems at airports in the state. [Cuomo admin x2]
+ State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the order "unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful" and his office said it would be assisting attorneys representing people detained at airports. [Politico NY]
+ Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik called the order "rushed and overly broad" on Sunday, and Congressman John Faso, also a Republican, said he didn't yet know for certain how the order handled people with green cards. [TU]
+ Hundreds of people turned out at the Albany International Airport to protest the order. [TU]

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Schumer vows fight on Trump cabinet picks, 1 Monument Square review committee public -- proposals still not, freedom of flamethrowers

Schumer on Trump nominations
Chuck Schumer speaking in Brooklyn Thursday night about upcoming votes on Trump cabinet picks: "We're going to do everything we can to not have [U.S. Sen. Jeff] Sessions, who's against voting rights and against immigrants, be AG. We're going to fight him and not let [U.S. Rep. Tom] Price, who wants to roll back Medicaid and Medicare, be the secretary of HHS ... We're going to fight them and make sure that they don't put a regressive person on the Supreme Court." [Politico NY]

Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand both said this week they'll be opposing President Trump's pick for Education secretary, Betsy DeVos. [HuffPo] [The Hill]

Earlier: How Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are voting on the Trump cabinet nominations

Judge adjourns sentencing in Wilton hit and run that injured boy
Saratoga County Court judge James Murphy adjourned the sentencing of the woman who pleaded guilty to hitting a boy with her SUV in Wilton last June and then driving off without reporting the incident because he said the six-month sentence in the plea bargain was insufficient given the impact the injuries have had on the boy. [TU]

Goodbye, Albany Devils
Albany County exec Dan McCoy on the reportedly impending move of the Albany Devils to Binghamton: "They haven't committed to leaving yet, but the [Binghamton] offer is better than what we can give. I anticipate that they will be leaving." [Daily Gazette]

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Sheehan gives Albany's State of the City amid protests, APD investigates South End shooting, Schneiderman pledges to battle for "sanctuary cities,"


Albany State of the City
Kathy Sheehan's state of the city address Wednesday evening was interrupted by protesters chanting in support of a new contract for the city's blue collar employees -- they've been without one since 2013 -- and calling for the two police officers who stopped Dontay Ivy to be fired. The chants included "Sheehan's got to go!" and "Kathy Trump."

Sheehan eventually decided to deliver her speech anyway, and the protesters chanted during the virtually the whole address. Among the topics the mayor touched on during the speech: a new city courthouse, a new vacant buildings program, traffic safety, air quality concerns in the South End, praise the police department's efforts in community policing. Afterward [TU]

Said Sheehan of the protest in her post-speech comments to the media: "They made their point at the beginning of my speech. I heard them loud and clear. And I agreed with them -- they need a contract. I want nothing more than to have a contract, that's what negotiations are for. And I do believe that black lives matter. And I do believe that we need to reform policing. And so I'm doing that."

Sanctuary cities
stating sanctuary cities would not be eligible for federal funding, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would do everything in his power to fight Donald Trump's executive order denying federal funding to "sanctuary cities". [NYT] [TU]

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Schenectady man injured in Union St. shooting, Brockovich at Capitol to discuss Legionnaire's, Trump/Clinton/Sanders owe Albany $80 grand

Sleet
Sleet and snow overnight caused power outages and left area walks and roadways slippery enough for more school delays on Wednesday morning.
[TU]

Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police say a city man was hospitalized on Tuesday after he was shot in the arm near the Union College campus. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Former Granville mayor facing charges
The former mayor of the Washington County town of Granville -- who is a high school track coach --was arrested this week for allegedly peeping on an underaged boy in the shower and inappropriately touching team members. [Post Star][WNYT][TU]

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Slushy winter storm, remembering parents who died in I-88 crash, Momentive strikers rally in CEO's neighborhood, the state of Schenectady

Winter storm
The storm ended up being more ice and slush than snow. More than 2,000 National Grid customers lost power across Saratoga and Schenectady counties, and many schools are closed today. [TU]

Fatal I-88 crash
Two of the three people who died in a crash on I-88 in in Princetown were a married couple from Rotterdam with four children. Three of the kids were in the car, and were taken to the hospital with injuries. Police say the third person who died was the driver of a car that had crossed the median and struck the family's car. [News10] [TU] [TWCN]

Fatal Lake George boat crash
In a court filing, the Warren County DA's office says the driver of the boat in the Lake George crash last summer that killed an 8 year old girl tested positive for drugs -- but will not be introducing the tests as evidence because of a procedural problem. The prosecution says it does have witnesses who say they saw the driver taking drugs. [Post-Star] [TU] [TWCN]

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Thousands at march in Albany, Cuomo issues state regulation for contraceptive coverage, two submissions for 1 Monument Square redevelopment

March and rally in Albany
The Inaugurate Resistance" march and rally in Albany this past weekend drew 7,000 people, according to organizers. Participants were there to support a range of causes, from reproductive rights to respect for Muslims to civic engagement. Jamaica Miles of Citizen Action, which organized the event, of the turnout: "It made me feel optimistic and inspired and motivated and proud of all the work that we did to make sure this event happened." [AOA] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

March in Washington
Riding the bus to the Women's March in DC on Saturday with a contingent of people from the Capital Region. [TU]

Chuck Schumer at the inauguration
From Chuck Schumer's speech at the presidential inauguration (he was in the lineup of speakers because of his role as Senate minority leader): "In such times, faith in our government, our institutions, and even in our country can erode. Despite these challenges, I stand here today confident in this great country for one reason: you, the American people." The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin: "Schumer provided an inclusive portrait of America, but one that require we sacrifice to improve the country." [TU] [Washington Post]

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Inauguration reactions, Sheehan: Albany is "committed to being a sanctuary city," remembering PK Miller

Inauguration
Many "New York Republicans at the presidential inauguration festivities" articles:
+ Local state Senator George Amedore on Trump: "We need a fighter in Washington to cut through the bureaucracy and the partisanship ... When you're in the ring and fighting every day tooth and nail because you got everything on the line, you may throw some punches or when a punch is thrown at you, you throw it back." [TU]
+ Chris Collins, the Congressman from western New York who was an early Trump supporter: "The inauguration tomorrow is really going to be the beginning of the change in this country." [TWCN]
+ State Senate majority leader John Flanagan on Trump being from New York: "Our new president! I don't know if I'm going to get tired of saying that. That's pretty cool stuff, right?" [TWCN]

Local protest
There's an "Inaugurate Resistance" series of events planned in Albany Saturday, including a march down Washington Ave to West Capitol Park. [Citizen Action]

Immigrants
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued "a legal roadmap for improving public safety by protecting vulnerable immigrant communities" for municipalities around the state. The AG's press release included a statement from Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan: "We are committed to being a sanctuary city and these guidelines will assist in our efforts to protect immigrants' rights and develop relationships that enhance public safety in our city." [TU] [NYS OAG]

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Albany JCC evacuated after bomb threat, driver charged in fatal hit and run, Cuomo/Trump discuss ACA, homelessness

Bomb threat at Albany JCC
The Albany Jewish Community Center was evacuated and closed for several hours on Wednesday after a bomb threat. The threat, made by phone, turned out to be a hoax and one of many threats made on Wednesday to JCCs across the country. [TWCN][TU]

Hit and run driver charged
An Albany man could face up to seven years in prison for allegedly leaving the scene of the automobile accident that killed National Guard Master Sgt. Rudolph Seabron in Colonie earlier this month. 33-year-old Brian Tromans of Albany man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident without reporting. [TU][Gazette][News10][TWCN]

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State budget season starts with private presentations, no charges in odd incident involving Schenectady mayor, Toll Gate is closed and future is unclear

State budget
Andrew Cuomo is apparently skipping a public presentation of his proposed state budget in favor of separate private presentations for members of the state Senate and Assembly today. A look at the some of the key issues for this year's budget. [TU] [Politico NY]

No charges in odd incident involving Schenectady mayor
In a report released Friday afternoon, Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen concluded the actions of Schenectady police and mayor Gary McCarthy during a late-night episode this past May in which McCarthy was accused of confronting, and then following, two women he said appeared to be acting suspiciously raised concerns, but didn't rise to the level of a violation. Heggen also recommended Schenectady police should have called in an outside law enforcement agency to handle the situation because of the mayor's involvement. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Daily Gazette editorial: "[McCarthy] should have known better not to pursue the van. He should have called police from his home, given a description of the vehicle, and went to bed. He said he was potentially witnessing garbage-picking, not a murder." [Daily Gazette]

McLaughlin officially declares for Albany mayor
Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin officially announced on Saturday that she's running for mayor -- the first person to do so for this cycle. [AOA]

Chris Churchill on Albany's usual reluctance to change mayors, and why this time could/might be different. [TU+]

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Caution urged on Hoosick Falls village settlement, proposal for transferring ownership of The Palace, big deal for big guns from Watervliet Arsenal

Hoosick Falls
The Hoosick Falls village board chose Thursday night to hold off on making a decision about the proposed $850k settlement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell for village costs associated with PFOA contamination of the drinking water. The meeting included many statements from residents skeptical of the settlement and urging caution. [Politico NY] [TU]

Palace expansion
The Palace announced it's reached a project labor agreement for its planned $65 million renovation and expansion. Theater officials say it can't move forward until the org that runs the venue gets ownership from the city -- they say that will also help with fundraising. The current proposed transfer deal: $750,000, paid to the city over 30 years. The Palace says the building also currently requires more than $4 million in maintenance/repairs. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

Fatal Watervliet Shaker Road pedestrian crash
Colonie police say they've located the vehicle they believe was involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash with a pedestrian on Watervliet Shaker Road early Sunday morning -- in Melrose in Rensselaer County, on the property of a relative of the vehicle owner. They say they also have video of the vehicle. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

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Cuomo's last stop on State of the State tour, Saratoga High School probes Instagram hate speech account, dealers ready for Rivers Casino opening

State of the state
Andrew Cuomo gave his final State of the State address on Wednesday at UAlbany. Among the items he discussed : public corruption, a plan to cap skyrocketing prescription drug costs with the use of a price control board, and upstate ride sharing. Only three members of the state Legislature attended the address, and State Senator Jim Tedisco and assemblyman Phil Steck have formally filed legislation that would require the state of the state to be giving from the Capitol in the future.
[NYT][TU][Gazette][WNYT]

$15 million for Schenectady rail station
Also part of the Cuomo's 2017 plan -- $15 million for a new Schenectady train station. Albany International Airport is still waiting to see if it will receive funding for planned improvements. [TU][WNYT]

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Cuomo to wrap up SOS tour at UAlbany, Albany voters approve school propositions, city bids farewell to police chief

State of the state
Andrew Cuomo will give the final speech State of the State roll out tour this afternoon at UAlbany. Cuomo is expected to touch on plans he's outlined in his recent speaking tour, including Upstate ride sharing, child care tax credits, voting reform and free tuition at state colleges. [TWCN][TU]

Power outages causing delays
Strong winds have resulted in a number of power outages which have led to some area school closings and delays. [TU]

Albany approves school propositions
Albany residents approved two school propositions on Tuesday -- a $6.5 million upgrade to a North Lark Street building to turn it into a middle school, and a plan to purchase the former Brighter Choice charter school for $4.1 million.[TU][WNYT]

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Ride-hailing and the middle class among Cuomo State of the State topics, Colonie police searching for vehicle in pedestrian death, a pledge against hate

There is vote in the Albany school district Tuesday on plans for two buildings. Polls are open from 7 am-9 pm -- here's how to find out where to vote.

State of the State tour
Andrew Cuomo's State of the State tour stopped in NYC and Buffalo Monday:
+ Ride-hailing: The Cuomo admin released its proposal for opening the way for services such as Uber and Lyft to operate around the state. And in his Buffalo speech, Cuomo said it was unfair the services aren't currently available upstate. [Cuomo admin] [TWCN]
+ After-school programs: Cuomo proposed a $35 million pilot to expand after-school programs for students in high-need districts such as Albany and Troy. [Politico NY] [TU]
+ Child care: Cuomo has also recently proposed an expansion of the state's child care tax credit to include families with incomes up to $150k. [Daily Gazette]
+ Buffalo: Cuomo proposed another $500 million in economic development aid for the Buffalo area, as a follow up to the Buffalo Billion. [Politico NY]
+ Middle class: The governor argued the case that his recent proposals, such as the SUNY tuition plan, "will help alleviate the middle class anger" -- and though he didn't mention Donald Trump, the comments were scene as a response to the next president. [TWCN] [NYT]
+ 2020: Cue the talk about about a potential presidential run. [NYT]

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Investigation of fatal Colonie pedestrian crash, Cuomo pushing for early voting, infrastructure wish list, remembering Capital Roots founder

Fatal pedestrian crash in Colonie
Colonie police say they're investigating the death of a pedestrian on Watervliet-Shaker Road near the I-87 overpass early Sunday morning as a potential hit and run -- and they're looking for a vehicle that may be a Mazda 6 with front-end damage. Police had originally thought the person had been lying in the road when a vehicle hit him and the driver called in the incident, but the presence of parts from a different car have led them to think there might have been an earlier crash. That stretch of road doe not have sidewalks. [CPD press release] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

State of the State tour
Andrew Cuomo's State of the State tour starts today in New York City and Buffalo -- he's expected to push a plan to allow early voting and detail a proposal to open the way for services such as Uber and Lyft to operate upstate. (See also: A look at some of the labor issues surrounding the taxi app debate.) [TU] [Poughkeepsie Journal] [TU+]

Zooming out a bit: How Cuomo is shaping his agenda in light of the upcoming Trump administration. [Politico NY]

College tuition plan
A look at who will -- and won't -- be helped by Cuomo's proposed free tuition plan for SUNY and CUNY. [TU+]

And some of the pushback on the plan, including this from a UAlbany alum and partner at a large Albany law firm: "I would look less highly upon those resumes [of candidates from the state schools and community colleges] if I knew those schools and colleges were free" because, in his mind, students wouldn't be as committed to their education if it was free. [Biz Review]

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Cuomo's State of the State tour, Troy keeping special police unit, odd dynamic between Trump and Schumer, designated drivers for hire

States of the state
The schedule for Andrew Cuomo's tradition-breaking, multi-stop State of the State tour -- which the admin says is an attempt to take the message "directly to New Yorkers" -- is out (sort of), and includes a stop at UAlbany next Wednesday morning. [TU]

Not attending the speeches: The leaders of the state legislature. But Chris Cox, the Republican state chair, is planning to a protest tour alongside the speeches. [Politico NY x2]

Free college tuition proposal
Leaders from local private colleges say they're skeptical of Andrew Cuomo's proposal to make tuition free at SUNY schools for many students. [TU+]

Taxi apps and driverless cars
A lobbying group that represents traditional taxi companies is pushing for any legislation that would open the way for services such as Uber and Lyft to operate upstate also include a provision that bans driverless cars. [TU]

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Heimroth sentenced to max for Lockrow murders, state legislators debate cell phone recording in Senate chamber, Mohawk Hudson shelters displaced rats

Heimroth sentenced in Lockrow murders
State Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia sentenced Jacob Heimroth on Tuesday to 50 years to life in prison for the murders of Allen and Maria Lockrow of Troy. "No mercy will be shown in this sentence," Ceresia said, imposing the maximum penalty, citing what he said was the "unspeakable and barbaric" nature of the crime. Prior to the sentencing the judge threw out a defense motion for a mistrial. Heimroth maintained his innocence, telling the court, "This whole incident is tragic however I refuse to take responsibility for something I played no part in." [TU][Record][News 10][WNYT]

NYS legislature returns
Wednesday marked the first day of the new legislative session. Among the first items taken up by the state senate , whether cell phones should be allowed to be used to record the goings on in the senate chambers. [NYT]

Climate Change protestors arrested
17 protestors calling on Andrew Cuomo to stand up to Donald Trump's denial of climate change were arrested outside the Executive Chambers on charges of disorderly conduct. [TU]

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Legislative session set to begin, employee escapes explosion at Port of Rensselaer, Schumer says Dems will hold Trump accountable, Bethlehem's Megyn Kelly heads to NBC

Port of Rensselaer explosion
An employee of a truck repair business survived an explosion that blew the front and back doors off a garage at the Port of Rensselaer on Tuesday, destroying the building. Power was turned off in the area and authorities say there is no danger of further explosions. [WNYT][TU][TWCN][News 10]

Legislative Session to begin
The 2017 session of the NYS legislature is set to begin today. Among the items on the agenda for this season, ride sharing, the battle against opioids, and government ethics. [NYT][News 10]

Man wrongly accused of fatal arson sues police
Robert Butler, the man who faced the death penalty after being wrongly accused of arson in connection with the fire that killed David Terry and 3 of his children, and badly injured Sa'fyre Terry, is suing the federal agents and Schenectady detectives who were involved in his arrest.[TU]

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Cuomo to float plan for free college tuition, how local police are trained, focus on Albany demolitions, first baby of the year

Free state college tuition proposal
Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to announce a plan Tuesday that would offer free tuition to SUNY and CUNY schools for students from middle- and low-income households. [NYT]

Cuomo vetoes plan for state to pick up costs of legals services for the poor
On Saturday Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have eventually had the state pick up the cost from counties for providing legal services to for low-income people. Pat Fahy, who represents Albany in the Assembly, was the sponsor of the bill -- she said remains "fully committed" to working toward a deal on the issue. [NYDN] [TU]

Minimum wage increase
As of New Year's Eve, New York State's minimum wage is now $9.70 per hour (up from $9) around Upstate, and higher downstate. The increase is part of a schedule that eventually will raise the minimum $15 downstate and $12.50 (or more) upstate. The Cuomo admin says it's put together a task force to provide information and enforcement for the increase. [NYS DOL] [TU]

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Police officers ill after heroin exposure, bowling alley owner facing child porn charges, brokers offered drugs, prostitutes and Paul McCartney tickets as bribes

Bribes
A pair of Wall Street brokers allegedly offered drugs, prostitutes and Paul McCartney tickets, among other bribes, to a former top manager for the NYS retirement fund, in exchange for him steering about $2 billion in business their way. [TU]

Special session
Andrew Cuomo says any special session would be made up of straightforward votes on uncomplicated issues. [TU]

Heroin exposure
Watervliet police officers became ill after being exposed to fentanyl-laced heroin during an arrest at a Green Island donut shop. [TU] [TWCN]

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Not guilty plea in UAlbany rape case, special legislative session still in question, Q-poll: Cuomo at 49% approval but don't run for president

Not guilty plea in UAlbany rape case
The Guilderland man charged in the rape of a UAlbany student pleaded not guilty to rape, burglary, attempted burglary and criminal trespass in Albany County Court Wednesday morning. [TU]

State says PCB cleanup failed
New York State officials told the DEC on Tuesday that the $1 billion PCB cleanup of the Hudson River was a failure and that more work needs to be done. [TU+][WNYT/AP]

Q-Poll
A new Quinnipiac Poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 49% approval rating and that voters want him to challenge Donald Trumps polices -- but not run for president in 2020. [Quinnipiac]

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Crawford sentenced to 30 years in domestic terrorism case, continued community policing in Albany, latest version of Uber/Lyft legislation

Crawford sentenced for "death ray" plot
Glendon Scott Crawford was sentenced in federal court in Albany to 30 years in prison for his conviction in a plot to use what he believed would be a radiation weapon against Muslims in Albany and Schenectady. Federal prosecutors said the Galway man was a self-professed member of the KKK and had sought funding from a North Carolina branch of the organization. Said US Attorney Richard Hartunian of Crawford after the sentencing: "He didn't seem to show any remorse whatsoever, and I think it's clear to me a person like this presents the ultimate danger to America. He is the classic domestic terrorist, and he deserves to be in jail for 30 years." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [US DOJ] [TWCN]

About the US Attorney: Hartunian said Monday he hasn't heard from the incoming Trump administration about whether he'll be asked to continue serving at the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York. [WNYT]

Electoral college vote
New York members of the Electoral College gathered in Albany Monday afternoon to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton. Among the electors was Bill Clinton, who said of Hillary Clinton's campaign: ""In the end, we had the Russians and we had the FBI ... She couldn't prevail against that, but she still won by 2.8 million votes." [TU] [TWCN]

Albany police chief exit
+ Even with Albany police chief Brendan Cox leaving, Chris Churchill notes the focus continues to be on community policing. [TU+]
+ What people are looking for in the next Albany police chief. [AOA]
+ A little more about ">the organization Cox will be working for after he leaves the APD. [TWCN]

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Albany police chief leaving the job, multi-billion dollar Nano Utica deal off, the new push for Uber and Lyft

Albany police chief leaving
Updated: Word started circulating Friday that Albany police chief Brendan Cox will be leaving the department soon -- and the city confirmed it at a press conference Monday morning. Cox will be heading to a job with the LEAD program, which aims to divert low-level offenders suffering from drug addiction or mental illness from jail. On Friday, city and community leaders praised Cox for his efforts to expand community policing and open lines of communication with the community. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

A look at recent turnover among top officials in the administration of Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan.[TU]

Crossgates gunfire incident
The man accused of being the shooter in the Crossgates gunfire incident was sentenced to nine years in prison for violating probation on an earlier charge. The Albany County judge in the case said it was "fundamentally clear that confinement is necessary for the protection of the public" after hearing testimony from an off-duty trooper about the Crossgates incident. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Nano Utica deal off
The Austrian company involved with the proposed multi-billion-dollar "Nano Utica" project -- which was to involve SUNY Poly building a chip fab -- has pulled out of the project. And officials are blaming the drama involving SUNY Poly and alleged bid rigging. [TU]+ [Politico NY]

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It's cold, North Colonie schools building plan rejected, stabilizing the Church of the Holy Innocents, "food rage," remembering Betty Flood

It's cold
As you know, temps were in the single digits this morning and the projected high for Friday is 17, with sub-zero wind chills. [NWS]

Homeless in the cold
The at the near-capacity Saratoga Springs Code Blue shelter Thursday evening. And riding along with the Homeless Action Committee van during a Code Blue night in Albany. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

North Colonie school building plan rejected
Voters in the North Colonie school district rejected the district's $194.6 million building plan 54-46. There were more than 4,000 votes cast, which the district said was the highest turnout in decades for a school vote. Supporters of the plan cited overcrowded, and opponents cited the cost and tax burden. And some voters continued the criticism of the unusual date and single-location format of the vote. The district says it had scheduled the vote now in order to have contracts in place to meet a 2018 deadline for securing a higher level of state aid. [North Colonie CSD] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

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Voorheesville fire considered suspicious, former Walmart employee who received public support pleads guilty to bank robberies, TU to electors: reject Trump

Voorheesville fire
A Voorheesville home was destroyed in an early morning fire.. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says the blaze is being investigated as suspicious. [News 10][TU]

Hoosick Falls
The Hoosick Falls Village Board has apparently reached an undisclosed draft of a settlement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell over PFOAs released into the village water system, but the board is holding off on a vote until January, and the terms of the draft are being kept under wraps. [TU+]

Fired Walmart Worker pleads guilty
An ex-convict and former Walmart employee that received public support when he was fired for redeeming $2 worth of cans has pleaded guilty to first degree robbery in connection with four local bank heists. [TU]

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Troy city budget approved, criticism of North Colonie schools vote, that actually wasn't the tax cap, tax breaks sought for Nipper Building

Troy budget crunch
The Troy City Council voted to override the tax cap and approve a budget with a 14.5 percent tax increase Monday evening in 6-3 vote. Republican councilman Mark McGrath switched his vote, opening the way for the approval. Council president Carmella Mantello again vote against the override, citing the eight layoffs in the budget. Madden after the vote: "I'm very pleased that a bipartisan majority of the council has approved my amended budget, but make no mistake, this budget erodes our ability to provide the services our taxpayers want." [TU] [WNYT] [News10] [TWCN]

Ahead of Monday's vote, Mark Robarge commented the whole political drama "truly has been a theater of the absurd." [Troy Record]

North Colonie building plan vote
Albany County comptroller Mike Conners criticized the timing and setup of this week's North Colonie school district vote on the $196.4 million building plan: "It creates a tremendous problem, with the appearance of voter suppression." A school district attorney was at the Conners press conference and asserted that state law requires the vote to be at one location because the district lacks voter registration -- a rule it apparently it had been breaking for years when holding votes at multiple locations. And district superintendent Joseph Corr pushed back on speculation about the district's motives: "What is concerning to me to ascribe arrogance and to ascribe a lack of concern for our voters as our motive is just a completely false mischaracterization of what happened." [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

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The law that makes police oversight more difficult, North Colonie's big school vote, Palace expansion plans same even after missing on state money

Oversight of the police
The Times Union continues its look at how state law shields police personnel files, and in turn makes it harder for the public to hold police accountable:
+ The state Senator who sponsored the original legislation says the law was not intended to block the public from accessing records on police misconduct.
+ Citizen police review boards say the current interpretation of the law means they're often reviewing cases with key information missing.
+ It doesn't appear there's much momentum in the state Capitol to change the law.

Troy budget crunch
There's a Troy City Council meeting scheduled for Monday night that could include a vote to override the tax camp and approve the 14.5 percent tax increase now proposed by mayor Patrick Madden -- it seems the most recent snag is the set of layoffs in Madden's proposal. [Troy Record]

Uber and Lyft
An "administration source" tells Politico the Cuomo admin is working on proposal to open the way for taxi-app companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate upstate, and it's "something the governor will push to have addressed" if there's a special session of the state legislature. [Politico NY]

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Sorting through regional economic development grants, Cuomo says he talked with the feds, questions about Albany trash fee, Amazon eyeing Green Island warehouse

Regional Economic Development Council money
+ Capital Region projects were awarded $83.1 million collectively in grants and other assistance -- here's a list of the projects. [AOA]
+ Since 2011 when the new arrangement for distributing state money started, Capital Region projects have been awarded $437.1 million -- the second-lowest total of any region. [TU]
+ A few more details on "The Mill Artisan District" mixed-use project in Schenectady that was awarded $2.3 million. [Daily Gazette]
+ Notably not among the Cap Region awards: money for the Palace's planned expansion. Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan said they need to find out what reviewers thought was missing about the project. [TU]
+ Albany Med president James Barba, co-chair of the Capital Region Economic Development Council, on how the council reviews projects: "There are three council priorities in this order; jobs, jobs, jobs." [TWCN]

Corruption investigation
+ Andrew Cuomo said Thursday following the REDC award announcements that he has talked with the feds as part of the corruption investigation involving former top aide Joe Percoco and former SUNY Poly president Alain Kaloyeros -- and a spokesperson said he had done so voluntarily. [TU] [TWCN]
+ Kaloyeros is still on unpaid leave from his faculty position at SUNY Poly -- and officials won't say whether they're moving to fire him. [TU+]

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Regional Economic Development awards today, Troy mayor cuts proposed tax increase by half, historic Saratoga building set for demolition

Regional Economic Development Council awards
The winners of the annual Regional Economic Development Council grants are expected to be announced today. $750 million will be divided for projects around the state. Among other things, the Capital Region is asking for include an $4.24 million to help with the proposed $29.7 million expansion of the Palace Theatre and $4 million Albany's Health Sciences Campus in East Greenbush. [TU]

Troy
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden has submitted a new spending plan to the City Council , calling for a tax increase of 14.5 percent half the size of his original 28 percent proposed hike. Madden says the proposal is not something he's comfortable with, but he's suggesting it to scale back potential layoffs. [TWCN][TU]

Historic Saratoga building coming down today
Demolition is set for this morning for a 150 year old building damaged in a Thanksgiving morning fire. [Gazette]

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APD: Rocks shooting suspect in custody, attorney says client isn't the Crossgates shooter, snags for residential redevelopments

Rocks shooting
Albany police say they have a suspect in custody for the fatal shooting at a party at Rocks early Thanksgiving morning, but are not releasing a name. APD says the person was picked up on an unrelated charge. [WNYT] [TU]

Crossgates gunfire incident
The man accused of firing a gun inside Crossgates -- Tasheem Maeweather of Albany -- pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Monday -- including attempted murder. Lee Kindlon, his attorney, said Maeweather had been at the mall to buy sneakers and did not have a gun: "Tasheem went to the mall that day like everybody else: to do some shopping. To say he went there with that intent [to kill someone] is just ridiculous." Kindlon says Maeweather was part of a scuffle, got punched in the face, and ran when he heard gunfire. He also argued that because Maeweather was on probation and being monitored, it was unlikely he'd have a gun. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

Albany County budget
The Albany County Legislature passed a county budget that includes no change in the tax rate. [TU]

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Charges in the death of Noel Alkaramla, update on investigation into incident involving Schenectady mayor, questioning red light camera's effect on safety

The death of Noel Alkaramla
Johnny Oquendo -- the stepfather of Noel Alkaramla -- is now being held on charges in her death last year, including murder. Alkaramla disappeared after shift at a Troy restaurant in November of 2015 and her body was later found in a suitcase in the Hudson River that December. [TU] [News10]

Rally against racism
Hundreds of people attended a rally against racism in Albany Sunday, prompted by the recent presidential election and the higher profile of white supremacist messages. Said Fazana Saleem-Ismail Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia: "When you hear a presidential candidate, now, soon-to-be president making negative comments basically about every group possible, it gave the average individual the license to do that publicly as well and we're seeing that playing out." Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan: "We have to make sure that our voices are heard and that this president-elect knows that he needs to represent each and every one of us." [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Police accountability
How a 1976 state law "has proven virtually impenetrable to the efforts" to open up records on police misconduct, and could even be interpreted in such a way as to close off access to officer body cam video. [TU+]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10 news stories from over the Thanksgiving break

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

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

Crunch time for city budgets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

(there's more)

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

Rosh Hashanah started Sunday evening and continues until Tuesday evening.

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

Police/community relationships

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New York presidential primary is April 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The presidential primary in New York State is April 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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