Morning Blend

A quick scan each morning of headlines from around the region

Who controls the future of legal marijuana in New York, state faces loss of House seats, different plan for Lincoln Square towers, new head of Historic Albany

Marijuana legalization
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced his qualified support for recreational marijuana legalization Thursday. The mayor's view on how legalization should work appears to be in opposition to that of the Cuomo admin -- and it highlights the ongoing conversation over the role of local control and corporations in the future marijuana industry. [NYT] [Politico]

New York population trends
Because of population trends, New York State is line to lose one -- and maybe two -- seats in the House of Representatives after the next decennial census. [TU]

St. Clare's pension problems
Albany Roman Catholic bishop Edward Scharfenberger met with former St. Clare's Hospital employees Thursday in closed-door session to discuss the faltering pension fund. The former employees had a range of reactions to what went on in the meeting. Scharfenberger: "We're going to have to get together, put our heads together, and come together with some plan." [CBS6] [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum]

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Another Albany shooting, petition to drop charges against Ellazar Williams, New York tops state population loss list

Albany shooting
A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg early Wednesday morning near Garden Street and Slingerland Street in the Second Ave neighborhood. [TU]

Ellazar Williams
+ A group of Albany citizens are creating a petition to urge David Soares to drop charges against Ellazar Williams. [TU]
+ Chris Churchill on the Williams case, and the video that shows he was running away from officers when he was shot: "It is disturbing that no one in a position of authority is honest enough to acknowledge that the evidence doesn't back the official narrative. No one will admit that Williams was fleeing when he was shot in the back. No one will concede that the use of force was unnecessary." [TU]

Schoharie limo crash
The federal National Transportation Safety Board is demanding that Schoharie County DA's office give the feds access to limo in the Schoharie crash, stating in a letter that they're "gravely concerned" the DA's lack of responsiveness has impeded the federal investigation. [CBS6] [TU]

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Vigil for victims of double murder-suicide, Morse claims he was threatened by teen, animal hoarding investigation in Troy, Luna gets a reprieve

Vigil for victims of Ballston Spa shooting
About 600 people turned out at a vigil on a cold Tuesday night, to remember 12-year-old Emma Jones, and her mother, Jennifer, victims of a double murder-suicide earlier this week. Emma Jones was remembered as a kind child and a "beautiful soul" who wanted to save animals, took pride in being a pescatarian and asked for donations to help others in lieu of birthday presents. [Spectrum][Saratogian][TU][Gazette]

Shawn Morse
The 18-year-old Troy man who has accused Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse of choking him during an incident at Morse's home has released photos of his injuries. Morse, meanwhile, says the teen threatened to kill him, and was the person who beat his daughter, breaking her collarbone.[TU][WNYT]

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Lawsuit filed over Albany police shooting of man, the many details of Cuomo's 2019 overview, Madison Theater re-opening still in progress

Albany police shooting of Ellazar Williams
+ Attorneys for Ellazar Williams, the 19 year old shot by a Albany police detective in August, have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Albany alleging excessive force -- and have released a video they say shows Williams was running away from the detective when he was shot. An attorney for Williams says the video contradicts the allegation made by police that Williams had charged toward the detective with a knife. Williams was paralyzed from the chest down by the shooting, and his attorney says the basics of day-to-day life have become enormous tasks because of the injury. [TU] [News10] [Spectrum]
+ This past Friday the Albany County DA announced that a grand jury had declined to hand up criminal charges against James Olsen, the detective who shot Williams. On Monday APD chief Eric Hawkins said the incident had been the subject of "a thorough internal investigation" as well as an investigation by the DA's office: "I have the upmost respect for the judicial process and the decision returned by the Grand Jury." [Albany County DA] [News10]

Ballston Spa double murder-suicide
+ Chris Churchill: "Why did Steven Jones do such a thing? How can a father kill a wife and child? If answers are ever offered, they will not satisfy or explain. If there is light amid this darkness, it is difficult to see." [TU]
+ It was Jones's employer that prompted the welfare check at the house by police, not the daughter's school -- and the Ballston Spa school district explained why it hadn't followed up on her absence. [TU]
+ Remembering Jennifer Jones and her work with children. [WNYT]

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Few details in shooting deaths of Ballston Spa family, no charges for Albany detective in shooting, another alleged incident involving Cohoes mayor, Lombardo's is closing

Ballston Spa double murder-suicide
Ballston Spa police have yet to comment on what might have prompted a Ballston Spa man to shoot his wife and 12-year-old daughter, and then himself, in their home sometime last week. Police discovered the bodies of Steven Jones, Jennifer Jones, and their daughter Emma Friday afternoon after the man's employer -- GlobalFoundries -- had contacted police asking them to check up on him because he hadn't been at work for several days. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

No charges for Albany detective in shooting
+ The Albany County DA's office announced Friday afternoon that an Albany County grand jury had declined to hand up charges against James Olsen, the Albany police detective who shot Ellazar Williams this past August. And the DA's office also delivered a presentation of what it says were the sequence of events in the incident. [Albany County DA] [TU]
+ One of the ongoing questions in the case is what exactly Williams was doing when he was shot, what position his body was in when he was shot. The Center for Law and Justice's Alice Green, to Spectrum: "There are a lot of questions that were not answered. That presentation did not add anything to the community's concerns. I was there at the hospital right after he was shot. The bullet entered his back. I saw it. I touched it." [CBS6] [Spectrum]

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Rensselaerville supervisor resigns, community response to Albany shootings, Tedisco calls for governor to pardon Luna, remembering the South End Santa

Rensselaerville supervisor resigns
Thursday night Rensseelaerville's town board announced that supervisor Steven Pfleging had stepped down after being confronted with evidence from an audit that he had written multiple checks to himself without town authorization. Another supervisor resigned after a 2012 audit, and board members say they're going to change procedures, including bringing in an outside payroll service. [TU] [WNYT]

Community response to Albany shooting
Community members gathered on Judson Street in Albany rally against gun violence following the city's latest fatal shooting there earlier this week. [TU]

Arrest in attempted abduction in Albany
+ Albany police say a Guilderland man has been arrested for attempting to abduct a 16-year-old girl near Robin and Sheridan earlier this month. APD says the man is a registered sex offender on parole -- he's been previously convicted of two crimes involving teens. [APD] [TU]
+ The teen in this most recent case says the man threatened to shoot her, and she was able to fight him off while he tried to drag her to a car. [CBS6]

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Guilty verdict in murder-for-hire trial, pedestrian identified in fatal crash, Schenectady fire leaves 5 homeless, body cameras for Schenectady police

Schenectady fire
An early morning house fire on Rugby Road in Schenectady has left five people homeless. [TU][WNYT]

Pedestrian in fatal crash identified
Police have identified the 61-year-old pedestrian who was killed in a Tuesday night crash at Swatling Road and Route 2 as Janet A. Nittoli, a New York City resident who moved upstate in the past few months and is believed to have been homeless. Police say there have been 36 crashes at that intersection in the last four years.[TU][Spectrum]

Guilty verdict in murder-for-hire trial
A jury found contractor Tarchand Lall guilty of hiring hit men to kill Charles Dembrosky in Schenectady two years ago. [Gazette][TU]

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Pedestrian killed in Latham, Kaloyeros sentenced, jury deliberating in murder for hire trial, Cuomo urges Dems to oppose funding for wall

Pedestrian killed in Colonie
A 61-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car on Tuesday night at the intersection of Swatling Road and Route 2 in Colonie. Police are investigating but they say alcohol was not a factor in the crash and the driver called 911 immediately. [TU][Spectrum]

Alain Kaloyeros
A federal judge sentenced Alain Kaloyeros to 3 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday for his part in a bid rigging scheme connected to the Buffalo Billion initiative, and for trying to cover up his crimes. Kaloyeros will remain free pending his appeal. He told the judge, "Your honor, I stand before you with a heavy heart. I feel enormous responsibility for the hurt and loss I have caused others. ... I feel enormous sorrow and pain. I take full responsibility for their struggle and will spend the rest of my life trying to make amends."[NYT][Spectrum][TU]

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Fatal shooting in Albany, restrictions attached to state legislature pay raise, apartments proposed next to Crossgates

Fatal shooting in Albany
+ Albany police say a 28-year-old man was fatally shot near the intersection of the Judson Street and Second Street (map) in West Hill around 7:50 pm Monday. APD says a 19-year-old man also was found with a gunshot to the foot. [APD]
+ The fatal shooting is Albany's 15th homicide of the year, more than double the typical number in recent years. [TU]

Pay raise for state legislators
+ The official recommendations from the commission that determined state legislators should get a $50k raise includes a cap on outside income at 15 percent of the government salary. [TU]
+ Capital Region state Senator George Amedore, whose family owns a home construction business, on the outside income cap: "All this is going to do is create a bunch of career politicians who do not have have outside real world experience." [Daily Gazette]
+ Andrew Cuomo said Monday that outside income has been source of conflicts of interest, and any doubts about the legality of the ban could be addressed by the legislature passing a law to codify it. [Politico]
+ The commission also recommended significantly reducing the number of leadership stipends (known as "lulus"). [Politico]

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Debate over big pay raise for legislators, Albany County revenue from housing immigrant detainees, trio of Albany parks to get wi-fi

Pay raise for state legislators
The details of the planned $50k raise for state legislators will be released today:
+ An overview of the raise, how it's happening, and why there's a push for it. [NYT]
+ A
possible limit on outside income for legislators is already getting pushback. [Politico]
+ Local Assembly member Pat Fahy, who said she didn't seek the raise: "The good news for democracy is that I think you'll see more people interested in running." [CBS6]
+ Chris Churchill: "If we were tying lawmakers pay to performance, we'd have no choice but to cut their pay." [TU]

Albany County revenue from housing immigration detainees
A look at the millions of dollars in revenue Albany County has gotten from housing immigration detainees at the county jail and how that money that's being used. [TU]

Four-vehicle crash on Central Ave
Colonie police say five people were injured in a four-vehicle crash on Central Ave late Saturday afternoon in which a police say a car with two men had fled a traffic stop. CPD the said the fleeing car, headed west, sideswiped a eastbound CDTA bus, a westbound SUV, and the crashed head on into an eastbound car. The occupants of the eastbound car were injured and taken to the hospital. CPD says the two men in the fleeing car then ran from the scene, and one of them was picked up by police nearby. [Spectrum] [News10] [TU] [Colonie police press release]

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Troy council tables sanctuary city resolution, big pay raise for state legislators, John Faso's regrets, new director for AVillage

Troy sanctuary city resolution
The Troy City Council tabled the proposed sanctuary city resolution Thursday evening. Approximatley 40 members of the public spoke at the meeting both in favor and against the resolution. [Spectrum] [TU] [CBS6]

Pay raise for state legislators
A state panel voted to increase the salaries for state legislators from $79,500 to $130,000 by 2021. It's the first raise in 20 years and would make New York legislators the highest paid in the country. It also looks like the panel would impose some restrictions on outside pay for legislators, and there's some question about whether it can do that. The panel also supported pay raises for the governor and other statewide elected officials, as well as cabinet officials. [TU] [NYT] [Politico] [Spectrum]

Housing for people with mental health issues
An investigation by the New York Times, ProPublica, and Frontline highlights cases in which people with mental illness died or otherwise couldn't care for themselves after New York State shifted people from institutions into private apartments as part of a settlement agreement. [NYT]

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APD investigating attempted abduction, Colonie police search for missing man, memories of a president and friend, Schenectady woman spins the wheel

Abduction attempt
Albany police are investigating the attempted abduction of a teenage girl on Central Avenue on Tuesday evening.[TU]

Guilty plea in fatal crash
A 23-year-old motorcyclist pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the Berne crash that claimed the life of his passenger. [TU]


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Troy moves closer to sanctuary city status, alleged murder for hire plot detailed at trial, homicides (and arrests) up in Albany, Cuomo to be inaugurated on Ellis Island, dinosaurs headed to Lake George

Sanctuary city
Troy's Public Safety Committee voted 2-1 on Tuesday to send a resolution to make Troy a sanctuary city along to the City Council. The vote followed a three hour public meeting where residents spoke out both in favor of and against sanctuary city status.[TU][Spectrum]

Albany violence
The number of homicides and shootings in the city of Albany is up significantly this year compared to the five year average -- and the police department has managed to make arrest in almost all the homicide cases.[TU]

Dembrosky murder trial
A Fulton County jail inmate testified on Tuesday that Tarchand Lall offered to pay his bail if he would kill a man with a lethal dose of heroin. [Gazette]

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A year later questions remain about man's death, county budgets approved, Albany police investigating flag burnings, an epidemic of unhappiness and despair

The death of Raolik Walls, a year later
The family of Raolik Walls -- the man whose body was found 38 days after his death in his room at a Troy facility for men recovering from addiction -- and his family says it's still waiting for the results of a state investigation into how he died and why it took so long for someone to notice. The state's Justice Center says the case is an "open and active investigation." [TU] [CBS6]

Albany County budget
The Albany County Legislature approved a 2019 budget that reduces the tax levy 1.5 percent, and reduces the property tax rate more than 4 percent. [TU]

Rensselaer County budget
The Rensselaer County Legislature approved a 2019 budget that increases spending 1.9 percent, but holds the tax rate at the same level as 2018. [TU]

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New York's climate future, medical debts paid off, homes promised but not built, teen activists, a return after almost seven decades

Climate change and New York
Among the potential climate-related changes facing New York State as described in the new National Climate Assessment: warmer winters, heavier rainstorms, and the continued spread of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme. [TU]

Earlier: Adapting for a more extreme future

AIDS
The number of new HIV diagnoses in New York State continues to drop, and the Cuomo administration is talking about ending the AIDS epidemic here by the end of 2020. [TU]

Schoharie limo crash investigation
Larry Rulison reports that records indicate the limo in the Schoharie crash had its insurance cancelled six times between January and September, and was reinstated the day before the crash. [TU]

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Scrutiny of shops that issued inspection stickers ahead of limo crash, possibilities for state elections reform, Troy budget passes, dispute over business use of New Scotland Ave house

Schoharie limo crash investigation
Larry Rulison reports that the two auto repair shops issued state inspection stickers to the stretch limousine in the Schoharie crash are still conducting inspections even though it appears they had violated state regulations in issuing the stickers for the limo. [TU]

Guilty pleas in death of 14 year old
The father of an autistic Schenectady teen who died of what prosecutors called acute oxycodone intoxication pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide Thursday, a felony, and the teen's grandmother pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. [Daily Gazette]

Pedestrian killed in Scotia crash
Police have identified the 70-year-old pedestrian killed in a crash on Mohawk Ave in Scotia Wednesday evening as Kathleen Allen. Multiple news stories note that police reported Allen was crossing a four-lane road while wearing dark clothing and not in a crosswalk. Not mentioned: The closest crosswalk across Mohawk Ave is more than a football field's distance away and reaching it would have required traversing both a wide driveway and crossing another street. (Distance via Google Maps.) [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [News10] [Spectrum]

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Records indicate limo company circumvented proper inspection process, pedestrian killed in Scotia, services slated for state trooper killed in crash, NYRA may expand 2019 Saratoga season

Schoharie Limo crash
The Times Union reports that the owners of the limo in the Schoharie County crash that killed 20 people appear to have circumvented the proper New York State inspection process, by having the vehicle inspected every two years by regular auto shops rather than every six months in rigorous DOT inspections as required by law. [TU]

Services for Trooper
Flags are flying at half staff and funeral arrangements have been announced for Trooper Jeremy Van Nostrand, who was killed on Tuesday when his car was struck as he was headed to the barracks for work. [Spectrum]

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State Trooper killed in crash outside barracks, not-guilty plea in Cohoes murder case, Music Hall restaurant tied to tax breaks, Cuomo says he's ruling out a 2020 run

State Trooper killed in crash
A New York State Trooper was killed on Tuesday morning when his car was struck by a box truck, pushing him into oncoming traffic as he waited to turn into the State Police barracks in Montgomery County. Trooper Jeremy Van Nostrand, a six year veteran of the State Police, was pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center. An investigation into the incident is continuing, and police say weather appears to have been a factor[TU][Spectrum][Gazette]

Cuomo ruling out a 2020 presidential run
Andrew Cuomo told Brian Lehrer on Tuesday that he is ruling out a 2020 presidential run, saying "I ran for governor, I have a full plate, I have many projects - I'm going to be here doing the job of governor."[Spectrum]


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A woman and two men in the room, family moves toward lawsuit over home demolition, Troy rethinking dangerous dog law, remembering Dan Dwyer

State Senate leadership
After a leadership vote Monday, Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be majority leader when the state Senate is back in session in January -- and she'll be the first woman to hold the position. On being one of the three men -- now two men and a woman -- in the room: "Women hold up half of this state, so the fact that there was never a woman in the room has always been something that I found troubling." [Spectrum] [TU] [CBS6]

Sheridan Hollow home demolition lawsuit
The Albany family who's housed ended up demolished after an adjacent emergency demolition on Orange Street in October is moving toward filing a lawsuit against the city. [TU]

The Thruway
A former NYS Thruway official at an infrastructure industry event in Colonie Monday said the Thruway is in an "an old age crisis" and the state is facing possible spending of $500 million to $1 billion a year to restore the system.

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Another story of an FBI informant, Troy police officer suspended, remembering student killed on bike path, South End study, Syrian delights

FBI informants
Brendan Lyons looks at the situation surrounding the Albany man who served as an FBI informant in the case against former Halfmoon supervisor Melinda Wormuth -- all while he allegedly was running a tax-fraud scheme. [TU]

Schoharie limo crash
A look at how a ruling by New York State's highest court regarding the Ethan Allen tour boat sinking could play a key role in whether the families of the victims in the Schoharie limo crash will be able to sue the state over inspections and regulations. [TU]

Troy police officer suspended
The Troy Police Department says the officer accused of elbowing a man in the face after Little League game in North Greenbush this past September has been suspended. [TU]

School threats
The number of bomb threats reported by Capital Region school districts is down compared to the previous decade -- but other types of threats that prompt lockdowns aren't required to be reported, and those appear to be on the rise. [Daily Gazette]

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Albany city budget approved, Troy woman no longer facing deportation, uniting against the Amazon New York deal, bioswale brouhaha

Albany city budget
The Albany Common Council unanimously passed the $177 million city budget, which includes no increase in the tax levy and again relies on $12.5 million in "capital city funding" from the state. It also approved an expansion of a $90 trash fee to single-family homes, a move that drew four votes against. [TU] [News10] [@mandy_fries]

Lawsuit over Troy police shooting
Dahmeek McDonald -- who was shot by a Troy police officer in August 2017 -- has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and officer alleging "excessive, unreasonable, racist and deadly force." (A special prosecutor presented the case to a grand jury and this past summer and it declined to hand up charges against the officer.) [TU x2]

Troy woman no longer facing deportation
A Troy woman who was facing deportation will be allowed to stay in the country after she filed for a green card (with money donated by someone she didn't know following a Times Union story) and an immigration court dismissed her case on Monday. [TU]

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Mourning the teen fatally shot in Cohoes, Delgado prepares for Congress, Albany County eyes tax levy decrease, pop quiz: who's a good boy

Cohoes shooting
+ Cohoes police identified the person killed in the Friday shooting on the Mohawk-Hudson bike path as 17-year-old Johni Dunia.
+ City police and mayor Shawn Morse are describing the shooting as an "isolated" incident, and they've haven't released any info about arrests. [TU]
+ Dunia's mother to CBS6: "I'm quite sure there is someone who killed my son. And I have to know that person." [CBS6]
+ A group of teens gathered in George Street Park to remember Dunia. [Spectrum]

Troy shooting
+ Troy police say a two-year-old boy was shot in the hand Friday night while he sat in a vehicle in North Central. TPD says it believes the vehicle had been targeted. [CBS6] [TU]
+ People gathered at the corner Saturday morning to protest the violence. [CBS6]

Corinth shooting
State Police say and investigation and autopsy indicate 34-year-old Ashley Rosenbrock -- fatally shot in her home Thursday night in Corinth -- was hit by a shot discharged while her husband was doing maintenance on a gun. Neighbors said the couple have three children. [NYSP] [TU]

Bulletproof vests for firefighters
The Schenectady Fire Department has bought 45 bulletproof vests for its firefighters. A fire department official couldn't recall an incident in which firefighters in the city had been shot at, but said they do sometimes respond to situations in which people have guns. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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It snowed, big investment at SUNY Poly, record job count, early voting to be considered, push for statewide rent control, Saratoga to Saratoga

It snowed
About five inches in Albany as of Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. There's another few inches of snow on the way, and the precipitation could turn to rain in the afternoon. [NWS Albany x2]

Albany County DA policy on marijuana possession
Albany County DA David Soares announced Thursday his office won't be prosecuting people for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana, and there will be a path for people with previous convictions to have them expunged. Using pot publicly, in a car, or around children will still be prosecuted. Soares said prosecuting the low-level cases isn't worth the resources, and his office would be focusing its attention instead on drugs such as heroin. And he framed the new policy as easing "the transition into market regulated marijuana." [AOA] [TU] [CBS6]

SUNY Poly
New York State is putting up $250 million as part of an $880 million for a semiconductor research effort by the company Applied Materials at the SUNY Poly Albany campus. The company says it will be doing materials engineering research and development for clients in fields such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and life sciences. [TU] [Biz Review]

Jobs
The number of the jobs in the Capital Region reached the highest number of jobs on record (since 1990) in October, according to the state Department of Labor. The statewide unemployment rate in October was 4 percent, the lowest mark on record. [TU] [NYS DOL]

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Colonie police car hits pedestrian, State AG wants to reinstate charge against Abelove, Raniere renews bid for bail, Albany County to use federal funds for immigrant assistance

Abelove
The state attorney general's office wants to reinstate a perjury charge against Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove, for allegedly lying to a county grand jury in 2017 to keep from being prosecuted for official misconduct in a probe of a 2016 fatal police involved shooting [TU]

Police car/pedestrian
A 61-year old man was hospitalized on Wednesday after being hit by a Colonie police car while crossing Route 9 near Fiddler's Lane. [TU] [Spectrum]

Prosecution of marijuana cases
David Soares is expected to announce a new policy on prosecution of marijuana possession in Albany County. [TU]

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Amazon in line for $1.5 billion in New York State incentives, investigation into Albany Med ER death, family fights order to have dog put down

Amazon in New York
+ Amazon is setting up one of its new offices in Long Island City in Queens. (The other will be in Virginia near DC.) [NYT]
+ The company is line to get "performance-based direct incentives" of $1.525 billion from New York State based on the creation of 25,000 jobs. Of that, $325 million will be a cash grant from Empire State Development and the rest would be via refundable tax credit. [Amazon]
+ Update: Jimmy Vielkind posted the memorandum of understanding between Amazon and the state and the total of incentives is more like $1.7 billion. [@JimmyVielkind]
+ Andrew Cuomo last week: "I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes." [NYT]

Albany Med emergency department death
+ Albany police have identified the 45-year-old man who died last week after being restrained in Albany Med's emergency department, and say the death remains under investigation. [APD] [TU]
+ In a press release last Friday AMC said the man had been brought in "displaying aggressive and belligerent behavior" and staff had made multiple attempts to deescalate the situation before restraining the man in order prevent injury to staff or the man. The man's girlfriend tells Spectrum that his body appeared beaten when she arrived at the hospital. [AMC press release] [Spectrum]

Man dies after Albany shooting
+ Albany police say the man shot in a vehicle near Park Avenue and Philip Street last week has died. His death is the 14th homicide of the year in the city. [APD] [TU]
+ Albany Common Council member Derek Johnson: "Anytime that something like this happens, I want to feel surprised, I don't want to ever feel like this is how it's supposed to be." [WNYT]

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Local rallies for Mueller investigation, shooting in Albany, police say phone in evidence was remotely wiped, Russell Sage moving to be co-ed

Mueller investigation rallies
People gathered Thursday evening in Albany and Saratoga Springs to rally support for the protection of the Mueller investigation following the firing of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week by Donald Trump. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Kirsten Gillibrand
+ In a segment that aired Thursday night, Kirsten Gillibrand told Stephen Colbert she would give a 2020 presidential run "a long, hard thought of consideration." [NYT]
+ Surveying the Kirsten Gillibrand presidential run situation. [TU]

No charges for Eric Schneiderman
+ The prosecutor reviewing the assault allegations against former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that Schneiderman will not be facing charges. Nassau County DA Madeline Singas: "I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution." [Politico] [NYT]
+ Schneiderman statement: "I recognize that District Attorney Singas decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong. I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them." [Spectrum]

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Fire damages Albany home, Dems consider what follows the blue wave, another threat to Niskayuna school, watch out for deer

Albany fire
A mother and children escaped unharmed early Thursday morning, when fire damaged their Sheridan Avenue home in Albany. [TU][Spectrum]

NY and the blue wave
Now that Democrats have control of New York State government, they're considering what to do with it. On the list of potentials: early voting, legalizing marijuana, investing in crumbling subways, and climate change issues. [TU][NYT]

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Cuomo wins 3rd term, Delgado over Faso, Letitia James is next A.G., Dems gain control of NYS Senate, Stefanik holds on to 21st District, voter turnout high in Capital Region

Voter turnout
Heavy voter turnout was reported on Tuesday across the Capital Region. [TU][WNYT]

You can find more results here. [AOA]

3rd term for Cuomo
In a victory speech in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, Andrew Cuomo told a group of supporters "New York is not buying what President Trump is selling," [NYT]

NYS Senate goes blue
Democrats seized control of the New York State Senate on Tuesday, for the third time in 50 years. [NYT]

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It's Election Day, TU editorial board revokes Tedisco endorsement, lawsuit over incident involving off-duty Troy police officer, meatballs before voting

ELECTION DAY
Polls are open until 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Take a few seconds to check with the state Board of Elections website.

Would you like to see a sample ballot for your election district? Check with your county board of elections: Albany | Rensselaer | Saratoga | Schenectady

Key elections and issues
+ Some of the New York Congressional elections -- including the NY-19 here in the Capital Region -- that are tightly contested and could be key in deciding which party controls the House of Representatives. [Spectrum]
+ Just one seat could decide which party controls the New York State Senate. [TU]
+ The Times Union editorial board revoked its endorsement of Jim Tedisco for the state Senate Monday because it believes Tedisco misrepresented his stance on abortion rights in its discussion with him. Update: Here's more on Tedisco's side of the story -- he says he was misquoted. [TU] [Planet Albany]

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Poll: the Faso/Delgado election for the NY-19 is close, trying to pin down Schoharie crash limo company owner, Madison Theater update

Elections
+ The Siena poll out Sunday reports that the gap between Andrew Cuomo and Marc Molinaro has been narrowing, and Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating is at the lowest point of his eight years in office. The new poll has Molinaro invoking George Pataki's win over Mario Cuomo. [SRI] [Politico]
+ How control of the state Senate could end being decided by just one seat, and the implications a shift in the chamber could have for New York State. [NYT]
+ A Siena/NYT poll pegs the Faso/Delgado election for the NY-19 to be within the margin of error. Shane Goldmacher on Faso/Delgado in the NY-19: "It is a battle, in miniature, of the same fault lines and forces buffeting the midterms across the country, with Democrats blitzing Republicans on health care and Republicans trying to rally their base by leveraging sometimes inflammatory cultural issues." [NYT x2]
+ There's been a big upswing in the number of absentee ballots issued in New York State relative to the previous midterm election. [TU]
+ The Daily Gazette's election guide.
+ Sara Foss would like you to vote. [Daily Gazette]

Schoharie limo crash
The Times Union follows the many business, social, and law enforcement threads involving Shahed Hussain, the owner of the limo company involved in the Schoharie crash: "Less than a month after the Oct. 6 Schoharie County crash that killed 20 people, the owner of the Wilton-based Prestige Limousine remains a very hard man to pin down." [TU]

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Gubernatorial candidates debate without Cuomo, Albany middle school plan, report of needle in candy was a prank, color temperatures

Gubernatorial election debate
The candidates running for governor -- except for Andrew Cuomo -- gathered for a debate at Saint Rose Thursday evening and addressed topics such as the Regional Economic Development Council program, the Excelsior scholarship program, Medicaid, and Cuomo's absence. [TU] [Politico]

NY-20 debate
Among the topics that came up at the debate between incumbent Democrat Paul Tonko and Republican challenger Joe Vitollo for the NY-20 Congressional District: health care, gun violence, the federal deficit, and birthright citizenship. [WMHT] [TU] [NY Now]

Ellazar Williams shooting rally
A group called Justice for Ellazar rallied outside Albany police headquarters Thursday to call for the suspension of the Albany police detective who shot Williams. [Spectrum]

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Police search for SUV driver in Bethlehem hit-and-run, Ho-Jo's owner sentenced for sexual harassment, construction underway for airport/Northway connector, Puzzles on Today

Bethlehem hit and run
Police are searching for an SUV driver in connection with the Bethlehem hit-and-run earlier this week, and think it's possible the driver didn't know they hit someone. The victim, an 80-year-old former gym teacher, was riding a bicycle at night and not wearing any reflective clothing. [Spectrum][WNYT]

More problems for family whose home was demolished
The Albany family whose home was demolished by the city when a wall was compromised as the building next door was being torn down says they were not notified of the demolition project next to their home or any asbestos concerns. [TU]

WNYT bomb threat
A Bethlehem man was arrested in connection with Sunday's bomb threat at NewsChannel 13. [TU]

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Man injured in Albany fire, child injured in Troy shooting, call for special prosecutor in Albany police-involved shooting, Smiths movie filming in Albany, DA seeks probe of community center

Call for special prosecutor in police involved shooting
Civil rights activist Alice Green is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the police involved shooting of 19-year-old Ellazar Williams that left the teen paralyzed from the chest down. [Spectrum]

Child injured in shooting
A child suffered minor injuries when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a gunshot in a drive-by shooting on Hutton Street in Troy on Tuesday. [WNYT]

Emmett Street Fire
Investigators are searching for the cause of an overnight fire at a home on Emmett Street in Albany that left one man injured.[TU]


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Albany family gets bill after home demolished, people of many faiths gather to mourn synagogue shooting, Rensselaer County DA debate, how soon is now for film shoot

Sheridan Hollow home demolition
Albany city officials continue to say the city did nothing wrong during the emergency demolition on Orange Street that ended up prompting the demolition of a family's adjacent home -- and on Monday the family received a $36k bill from the city for the demolition of their house. [TU]

Local response to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
+ Community members and leaders of multiple faiths packed Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady Monday for a vigil to mourn the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. [CBS6] [Daily Gazette]
+ Rabbi Matt Cutler: "If you yield to terror, change your ways ... If you succumb to the fear, terrorism wins. And that's not going to happen." [WNYT]
+ Sara Foss: "Those of us who aren't Jewish -- a category that includes myself -- need to express support for those who are, and to denounce anti-Semitism whenever possible. What was once a fringe movement in America is creeping into the mainstream, and it's unacceptable." [Daily Gazette]

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Local response to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, family trying to settle after house knocked down, multiple hit-and-run crashes, film shoot in Troy

Response to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
+ Hundreds of people -- including people of different faiths and elected officials -- gathered at Temple Israel in Albany Sunday for a prayer service in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue. Said a 69-year-old man, whose family had members killed in the Holocaust, at the service: "These kinds of acts are an outrage and they're scary as well. My children are worried, they're scared for themselves, for their children, for us. What's going to happen?" [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]
+ From state released by Andrew Cuomo: "The hate in this country has reached a fever pitch and it is bubbling over into violence. This past week, the entire nation was shaken by targeted attempted political bombings, by the racist attack in [Jeffersontown,] Kentucky and by the anti-Semitic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In New York, we mourn for the victims and their loved ones, and we stand together with the African American and Jewish communities and all communities that make up our diverse social fabric." [Cuomo admin]

Bomb threat at WNYT
+ WNYT's facility in Menands was evacuated Sunday morning after the station received a bomb threat via a phone call. Law enforcement swept the building and didn't find any explosives. [WNYT] [TU]
+ Monday morning the President of the United States used Twitter to call the news media "the true Enemy of the People." [Washington Post]

"All we had is that house"
Chris Churchill talks with the family who lost their Sheridan Hollow home when a city-hired contractor conducted an emergency demolition on the next-door building. (Here's a the News10 story about the demolition of the Orange Street home a week ago.) [TU] [News10]

Race and Niskayuna schools
Talking with with alumni and parents about their experiences attending Niskayuna schools as people of color and the discomfort and exclusion they felt. [Daily Gazette]

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Gillibrand-Farley debate, Albany's new strategy for potholes, sewers known and unknown, 158-year-old business changes hands

Gillibrand-Farley debate
+ Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican challenger Chele Farley debated Thursday for 30 minutes at NYC TV station in their matchup for the US Senate. Donald Trump was a frequent topic. And Gillibrand in response to a question about running for president: "I will serve my six-year term." [ABC7] [NYT] [AP/TU]
+ Jimmy Vielkind: "This debate is the opposite of Cuomo-Molinaro. Spirited discussion of issues. Real clashes. Both Gillibrand and Farley are speaking quickly and fluently." [@JimmyVielkind]

Albany potholes
The city of Albany's DGS commissioner says his department has been pursuing a new strategy for fixing potholes. [TU]

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Suspicious package scares prompt concern, Skelos sentenced, Faso happy with Trump endorsement, $1 million East Greenbush Powerball winner

Suspicious packages
+A suspicious package sent to Andrew Cuomo turned out to be just a thumb drive with material from the alt-right group, the Proud Boys. The package raised suspicion early on because of pipe bombs sent in recent days to George Soros, the Clintons, Barack Obama and today, Joe Biden. [TU]

+A suspicious package found on Wednesday at the Albany JCC on Wednesday was later determined to be a practical joke, but Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says the events of recent days have him concerned about copycat crimes. [TU][WNYT]

Skelos sentence
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was sentenced on Wednesday to four years and three months in prison for
bribery, extortion and conspiracy. Skelos' Son, Adam Skelos, was sentenced to four years in prison. Prior to sentencing, the elder Skelos told the court "I truly am remorseful, your honor," he said. "I have disappointed so many, and that's what troubles me. I'll never get over that."[Gazette][Spectrum][TU][NYT]

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Cuomo and Molinaro debating today, NY-19 debate, search for info in Route 7 pedestrian death, eat your vegetables first

Gubernatorial election
+ At long last: Andrew Cuomo and Marc Molinaro are scheduled to appear in a debate Tuesday in New York City that will be recorded and played around the state this evening. Here in the Capital Region it will air at 7 pm on CW15 (WCWN) on TV and on WGY on the radio. [TU] [CBS6]
+ Debate pre-game analysis. [NYT]
+ The debate will be one-on-one between Cuomo and Molinaro and not include the other candidates. [News10]

NY-19 election
The four candidates for NY-19 Congressional District -- Republican incumbent John Faso, Democrat Antonio Delgado, Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield, and independent Diane Neal -- debated at WAMC Monday. Among the topics: personal histories and immigration. [WNYT] [WAMC]

Pedestrian death on Route 7
The daughter of the 86-year-old woman who State Police say died after it appears she was struck by one or more vehicles on Route 7 in Brunswick Friday night, to the Times Union: "If people can stop for an animal they hit, they can stop for a human being." [TU]

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AG calls for reform after death of man in Schenectady police custody, focus on working conditions of EMTs, Albany family forced from home by demolition, the pet finder

Review of man's 2017 death in Schenectady police custody
The state Attorney General's office reported Friday that a grand jury had declined to hand up charges in the 2017 death of Andrew Kearse in Schenectady police custody. Kearse died of a heart problem, and in its report the AG's office says it consulted with a cardiologist who determined that there had been "a limited window of time in which appropriate medical intervention could have saved his life." [NYS OAG]
+ From a released statement by AG Barabara Underwood: "Regardless of the grand jury's decision, Mr. Kearse's death was a tragedy that never should have happened, and reforms must be made to prevent similar future tragedies."
+ The AG's office also released video associated with the case. [Daily Gazette]
+ Kearse's widow said she was disappointed there was no indictment, but hoped his death would inspire reform. [Daily Gazette]

EMT working conditions
A look at the hours, strain, and pay that EMTs face as their union pushes for higher pay and changes in working conditions with Mohawk Ambulance. [TU]

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Sifting through $100 million in Cuomo campaign contributions, Schenectady train station opens, saving the family farm with hemp

Gubernatorial election
The USA Today Network Albany Bureau after reviewing $100 million in campaign contributions to Andrew Cuomo since 2010: "... Cuomo's campaign coffers are filled with donations from companies with business before the state -- and regularly made through a massive loophole in state law." [USA Today Network Albany]

Schenectady train station
The new Schenectady train station opened Wednesday, ahead of the previously announced opening date. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schoharie limousine crash
+ Talking with the Amsterdam couple whose four daughters and three sons-in-law died in the Schoharie crash about how their family is coping and working to move forward. [NYT]
+ The final member of the party -- Michael C. Ukaj, an Iraq war veteran -- was buried Wednesday in Saratoga National Cemetery. [TU]

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More details on limo business owner's dealings, Troy police detectives plead guilty, Miner on 3rd party bid for governor, state's high court hearing arguments about chicken sacrifice

Schoharie crash
+ More on Shahed Hussain, the owner of the limo in the Schoharie crash, including business dealings in which an Olympic boxer and a pastor say Hussain cost them thousands of dollars.
[TU]
+ Memorials continue for those killed in the crash, including former Marine Michael Ukaj and Colonie's Amanda Rivenburg. [Spectrum] [TU]

Former Troy officers plead guilty
A pair of now-retired Troy detectives pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor charges related to concealing a warrantless entry into an apartment as part of drug case. [TU]

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Inspecting the inspection records of limo companies, local school districts and homeless students, Boyhaven sold, coworking with cats

Schoharie limousine crash
+ Larry Rulison and Lauren Stanforth look into the inspection records of limo companies statewide and concluded that "Prestige had the most egregious violations among them over a two-year period," other limo company owners question how Prestige had been allowed to continue operating. [TU]
+ Kathy Manley -- the attorney who represented Yassin Aref in the FBI's Albany rocket launcher sting -- on Presige owner Shahed Hussain and his involvement as an undercover FBI informant in that case and other cases: "[T]his would not have happened had it not been for the FBI enabling this guy." [News10]

Homeless students
+ There were 512 students in the Albany school district categorized as homeless* during the 2017-2018 school year, according to state data. (The number was 664 when counting student enrolled in charter schools in the city.) For the Schenectady school district the total was 467. And for Troy it was 338. [NYS-TEACHS]
+ Sara Foss: "If we don't find a way to reverse this worrying trend, we risk accepting student homelessness as a normal part of American life." [Daily Gazette]

Rally for EMT raises
Mohawk Ambulance EMTs rallied Monday for a new contract, raises, and better working conditions. The union that reps the EMTs says they currently make $12.51 per hour, and should be making at least $15 per hour. [News10] [WNYT]

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Sifting through the background of the Schoharie crash limo company owner, call for stricter limo safety standards, Girard picks Syracuse

Schoharie limousine crash
+ Sifting through the life and business dealings of Shahed Hussain, the owner of Prestige Limo who worked as an undercover informant for the FBI on multiple occasions. [TU]

+ Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have joined the call for the federal government to issue stricter safety regulations for stretch limos. [NYT] [Daily Gazette]

+ The first responders to crash, almost all of them volunteers, are trying to find ways to process and deal with what they saw at the scene. [TU]

+ The funerals have begun for the people who died, drawing hundreds of mourners. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

+ There is now a hub of verified donation campaigns for the families of the people who died in the crash. [Go Fund Me] [NYS OAG]

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Following the many threads of the Schoharie crash, feds said to be looking into mayor's part-time job, ugly behavior and the beautiful game

Schoharie limousine crash
+ State Police are investigating what they're calling a suspicious death at the site of a Wilton motel owned by the family that owns the Schoharie crash limousine company. Earlier this week State Police said the death didn't appear to have any connection to the business or business owners. The state Department of Health says the motel's permit had been suspended at one point last year because of code violations. [TU] [Post-Star] [CBS6]

+ A look into two fires that directly or tangentially involved the family of the limo company owner, Shahed Hussain: one destroyed a house in Loudonville, and the involved a mechanic's garage in Queensbury and a Bentley. [TU] [Post-Star]

+ Looking into the driving history of the diver of the limo, including a 2015 crash in Glens Falls. [Post-Star]

+ A limo driver tells News10 that he drove the Schoharie crash limo three years and he thought it was unsafe then. [News10]

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Son of limo owner charged in deadly Schoharie crash, victims remembered/1st responders honored in vigil, Quail Street fire accidental

Schoharie crash
Nauman Hussain, operator of Prestige Limousine and son of owner Shahed Hussain was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the Schoharie crash that killed 20 people on Sunday. Hussain pleaded not guilty, was released on bond and ordered to turn over his passport. Hussain was arrested at a traffic stop on I-787, his car packed with his belongings. His attorney says he was seeking a safe place to live after receiving death threats. [NYT][Spectrum][Gazette][Post Star]

The driver of the limousine was cited in August for not having the proper license to operate the limousine. [News 10]

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Schoharie Central School guy on Wednesday for a vigil in memory of the 20 people killed in Sunday's crash. The Crowd honored first responders as well, singing Lean on Me, as the group of 1st responders stood and held on to each other in the center of the gym. [Spectrum][Gazette]

Sara Foss on what the Schoharie tragedy says about the need for transportation regulations and whether limos like the one in the crash should be allowed on the road at all. [Gazette]

Chris Churchill on the many failures that led to the crash. [TU]

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Cuomo orders flags at half-staff for limo victims, more problems revealed with limo and company, police investigate Troy shooting, police chief defends investigation in officer-involved shooting

Schoharie County limo crash
+ Andrew Cuomo has ordered flags around the state to be flown at half-staff on Thursday in honor of the 20 victims of last weekend's limousine crash in Schoharie.[TU]

+ Federal records show that the limo failed inspection because of brake issues last month.[Gazette]

+ More stories are coming to light about problems with the limo in the crash and the company that rented it. Days before the crash, the limo was listed for sale for $9,000. [TU][TU]

+ The Times Union took the trip down the hill on Route 30 through the intersection where the crash happened. [TU]

+ The Schoharie County District Attorney is considering potential charges as the investigation into the crash continues. [News 10]

+ Schoharie is preparing for a second vigil to be held tonight in a local school gymnasium, and the funerals for the crash victims will begin on Friday.[TU]

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Investigation into Schoharie limousine crash, community and first responders try to cope with the deaths of so many, students could use better math prep, questions for the Adirondacks

Schoharie limousine crash
+ On Monday Andrew Cuomo and State Police said the stretch limousine in the Schoharie crash that killed 20 people had failed a state inspection last month and the driver didn't have the proper licensing to be operating the vehicle. The company -- Prestige Limousine -- is now under a cease-and-desist order from the state preventing it from operating, and State Police have seized the company's vehicles. [CBS6] [WNYT x2]

+ State Police and federal investigators are continuing to sort through the details of the crash, and State Police left open the possibility of criminal charges. [NYT]

+ Contrary to comments made by state officials, Lee Kindlon, the attorney representing Prestige Limousine, said Monday the vehicle had passed state inspections and "was safe to be on the road." And he turned attention to the design of the Route 30/Route 30A intersection: "I think the state has been warned about that intersection for years and the Department of Transportation is just looking to point a finger." [News10] [TU]

+ Schoharie's current and former town supervisor both say the 30/30A intersection has been a safety problem for years. NYSDOT redesigned the intersection in 2010, and in 2015 trucks were banned from the Route 30 hill. [CBS6] [Daily Gazette]

+ The owner of the Wilton-based Prestige is Shahed Hussain -- a former Albany gas station owner who became an FBI informant after being snagged for drivers license fraud and ended up being the key informant in the the sting that led to the arrests of Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain in Albany. State Police said Monday Hussain is now in Pakistan. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Sorting through the aftermath of the Schoharie crash, mother facing charges in toddler's death, review of fatal Albany police shooting, what's up with the Madison Theater

It's Columbus Day. Many schools, banks, and government offices will be closed, though other places will be open. Check before heading out.

Schoharie limousine crash
+ State Police say 20 people died in the limousine crash in Schoharie Saturday at State Route 30 and State Route 30A. All 18 people inside the limo died, as did two pedestrians. The National Transportation Safety Board, which was on site to investigate, said it's the largest loss of life in a transportation incident in almost 10 years. [NYSP] [NYT] [Daily Gazette]
+ A family members says the group of passengers from Amsterdam had been celebrating a friend's 30th birthday -- the group included four sisters, two brothers, and two newlywed couples. [TU]
+ The manager of the nearby Apple Barrel Country Store, to the New York Times, about the immediate aftermath of the crash: "I don't want to describe the scene ... It's not something I want to think about." [NYT]
+ A man who lives nearby said the spot has been a problem intersection. [Daily Gazette]
+ From a statement by Andrew Cuomo: "I join all New Yorkers in mourning these deaths and share in the unspeakable sorrow experienced by their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time." [Cuomo admin]

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Control of the state Senate, Albany Law professors join call to oppose Kavanaugh confirmation, in the grips of disc golf fever

Control of the state Senate
+ A look at how Republicans have managed to keep control of the state Senate in recent years even as New York's electorate has trended toward Democrats. [TU]
+ A profile of the 44th state Senate election between 10-term incumbent Democrat Neil Breslin and Republic challenger Christopher Davis. [TU]
+ A profile of the 46th state Senate election between incumbent Republican George Amedore and Democratic challenger Pat Strong. [TU]

A public vote in October
Albany County comptroller Mike Conners is criticizing a Guilderland school district $42.7 million construction referendum vote that's being held October 16 because it's not being held concurrent with other votes. He said it's representative of a larger problem of similar votes being held on unusual dates, which often results in low turnout. [WNYT] [TU]

Albany County Board of Elections office move
+ Amanda Fries tracked down Matthew Clyne, the Democratic elections commissioner for Albany County, to ask him about his Republican counterpart's recent comment that the the county BOE shouldn't move its offices to Albany's South End because it's a dangerous neighborhood -- he said he had no comment. [TU]
+ In comments to Spectrum News, Rachel Bledi -- the Republican commissioner -- reiterated her opposition to a potential move to the building that's housed the DMV on South Pearl Street, and said regarding her earlier assertion about the neighborhood: "it would be ignorant on part of officials to pretend like this is not a real and serious issue." [Spectrum]

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Youth football team mourns second gun death, Yassin Aref released from prison, how Sheldon Silver remains free

Second gun death for Pop-Warner team
The shooting death of a pop-warner football coach in an Albany night club last weekend marked the second gun violence loss this year for an Albany Pop Warner football team. [TU]

Silver
How the twice-convicted Sheldon Silver is still managing to stay out of jail. [NYT]

Aref released
Yassin Aref, the Albany Imam convicted on terrorism charges following the raid of an Albany mosque in 2004, was released from prison on Wednesday and will be leaving the United States to join his family in Kurdistan. [WNYT][TU]

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Alleged night club shooter was parolee, overnight trailer explosion in Colonie under investigation, Schenectady police brutality settlement upwards of $300k, campaigning against Aaron Burr

Man charged with shooting was parolee
The man charged in a fatal shooting outside an Albany nightclub over the weekend was on parole after serving two years in prison on a weapons charge. [TU]

Schenectady police brutality settlement
The police brutality settlement between the city of Schenectady and a woman who alleges two officers slammed her head onto a bench in the police station in 2016 is reportedly somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000. [TU]

Trailer explosion
An explosion and fire destroyed a Colonie trailer home and damaged two others late Tuesday. There were no injuries and the cause remains under investigation. [WNYT][Spectrum]

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Proposed Albany budget includes trash fee for single-family homes, man dies from Albany shooting, tracking the events at the Albany Capital Center

Albany city budget
+ Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan released her proposed 2019 budget. It includes a spending increase of less than 1 percent, and again relies on $12.5 million in "Capital City Funding" from the state. [Sheehan admin]
+ But the most noteworthy part of the proposed budget is that it includes a new $90 trash fee for single-family homes. (Trash service is currently not paid for separately, and has for years been subsidized by the city's landfill, which is scheduled to close next decade. The city is probably headed, eventually, toward a system that charges people in some way based on how much gets thrown out.) [TU]

More municipal budgets
+ Supervisor Paula Mahan's proposed Colonie town budget includes a 7.5 percent tax increase, which would exceed the tax cap. [TU]
+ Mayor Gary McCarthy's proposed Schenectady city budget would include a small property tax cut. The budget plans for $2.56 million in casino revenue, a 12 percent increase from this year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ The proposed Schenectady County budget doesn't include a an increase in the tax levy. [Daily Gazette]

Shooting death in Albany
+ Albany police say one of the people shot outside Club Phoenix on Central Ave this past weekend has died of his injuries. APD says the charges against the man in custody for the shooting will be upgraded. [APD]
+ The man's death is the city's 13th homicide of 2018. The Times Union has been tracking that number. [TU x2]

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Two large fires in Albany, three people shot, Cuomo with large lead in Siena poll, concerns about sprawl in Saratoga County

Large fires in Albany
+ Two large fires in Albany Sunday morning -- one on Sheridan Ave in Sheridan Hollow, the other on Quail Street in Pine Hills -- burned several buildings and collectively displaced more than 60 people. One person was injured in the Quail Street fire. [News10] [Spectrum] [CBS6]
+ Kathy Sheehan said there wasn't a time in recent memory when two large fires of this type had burned at the same time -- the AFD got assistance from Troy, Watervliet, and the Watervliet Arsenal. [TU]
+ In both fires residents are credited with alerting their neighbors about the fire and helping to get people out. [News10]
+ Officials say multiple buildings will need to be demolished because of the fires. [Spectrum]

Three people shot in Albany
Albany police say three people were shot outside Club Phoenix on Central Ave early Saturday morning, and APD says it's arrested a man for the shooting. An APD spokesman says one man had been targeted in the shooting -- he was in critical condition -- and the two other people shot were bystanders. [APD x2] [CBS6]

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Audit of agency that awards Albany tax breaks, proposed South End development, dirt bikes in Washington Park, looking for bigfoot

Audit of agency that awards Albany tax breaks
An audit by the state Comptroller office reviewed 15 projects granted tax exemptions by the Albany Industrial Development Agency -- projects that were approved between 2004-2015 -- and concluded that the agency could have done a better job of incorporating goals into the agreements for those projects and then following up to check on investment or revitalization goals. It also noted that many of the projects received tax breaks that stretched beyond the five years in its standard policy. In a letter attached to the audit, the IDA responded that changes made between 2012 and 2015 had already addressed many of the best practices recommended by the audit. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Albany County Land Bank
A look at the Albany County Land Bank's recent efforts to use grant money to take on building rehab projects itself -- projects that private developers hadn't been willing or able to take on. [TU]

New development for South End
At a neighborhood meeting for a proposed new-construction mixed-use on Second Ave in Albany's South End residents were hopeful and skeptical. [TU]

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FBI investigating Cohoes mayor, only 45% of NY students passed state tests, Albany Med prize goes to immunotherapy researchers, Garafalo's to close after 114 years

FBI investigating Shawn Morse
FBI agents are investigating business dealings of Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse, Brendan Lyons reports. [TU]

State tests
Only 45% of New York State students passed the state reading and math tests for grades 3-8 this spring. State officials say this year's tests represent a new baseline and shouldn't be compared to past tests. [TU][Gazette]

Corrections officer charged with abusing inmate
A Rensselaer County jail corrections officer is facing misconduct and sexual abuse charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a female inmate. [Spectrum]

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Protestors seek justice for Williams, Capital Region unemployment drops, Albany sewer concerns, reaching the century mark

Ellazar Williams protest
Two dozen people gathered and protested at the Albany Public Library on Tuesday night demanding justice for 19-year-old Ellazar Williams, who was paralyzed when he was shot in the back by a police officer five weeks ago. Protestors criticized department findings in the case and are calling for the officer to be charged with attempted murder. [WNYT][Spectrum][TU]

Cuomo/Crystal Run
Three weeks after Andrew Cuomo told the Times Union editorial board that Crystal Run Healthcare never warned his campaigned about potential problems with $400,000 in donations, the Cuomo campaign says the governor was incorrect. [TU]

Unemployment
Unemployment dropped slightly in the Capital Region last month, to 3.7 percent from 3.9 percent in August and from 4.5 percent in August of 2017.[Gazette]

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Pay-as-you-throw recommended for Troy trash collection, notifying the public about drinking water problems, Molinaro says he has plan for cutting property taxes

Drinking water
A state Comptroller's office review of the state Department of Health oversight of public water systems concludes that DOH has not always taken the appropriate or timely to hold systems accountable for notifying the public about problems. DOH pointed out that 98 percent of water systems in the state reported no water safety violations in 2016, a rate that's better than the national average. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Troy trash plan
A draft version of Troy's trash management plan identifies multiple longstanding issues and recommends the city move to a pay-as-you-throw model for trash collection. [TU]

Mice, bedbug complaints at state office on Pearl Street
The state Office of General Services has been treating floors in the 40 North Pearl Street office building (the Ten Eyck Building) for bed bugs and engaging in "aggressive mouse control." [TU]

NXIVM
The feds say the FBI is trying work its way through as much as 12 terabytes of data on devices seized from Halfmoon residence this past March as part of the NXIVM investigation. [TU]

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New York's abortion laws and the Supreme Court, Albany selling its Coeymans land, crash at police station, building collapse near old South End Tavern

Abortion rights in New York State
A look at where New York's laws stand on abortion rights and how that could be significant if there's a shift in direction by the Supreme Court of the United States. [TU]

Albany selling Coeymans land
The city of Albany is moving toward selling the 363 acres of land it owns in Coeymans -- once planned to be used for a new landfill -- to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. [TU]

Gubernatorial election
Gun control laws: Andrew Cuomo says he'll push to expand the SAFE Act while Marc Molinaro says he wants there to be "a respect for the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers." [Spectrum]

Attorney general election
A short profile of Keith Wofford, the Republican running for state attorney general. [News10]

Women running for state offices
There's a record number of women running for state legislature seats this year. [Politico]

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Percoco sentenced to prison, the people who stopped a knife attack, Watervliet road diet, in the end it's just stuff

Percoco sentenced
+ Joe Percoco -- the former top advisor to Andrew Cuomo who was convicted of taking more than $300k in bribes from companies with business before the state -- was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday. [TU]
+ Valerie Caproni, the federal judge in the case: "Frankly, it's not surprising that the citizenry of this state have absolutely lost faith in their government." [NYT]
+ Andrew Cuomo: "Joe Percoco is paying the price for violating the public trust. And it should serve as a warning to anyone who fails to uphold his or her oath as a public servant. On a personal level, the human tragedy for Joe's young children and family is a very sad consequence." [News10]
+ Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro: "Andrew Cuomo was sentenced today -- he just doesn't have to do the time." [TU]
+ NYPIRG's Blair Horner: "It's hard to believe that Albany has learned anything. If they have, they've been keeping it a secret. There have no meaningful measures to reduce the corruption in state government." [Spectrum]

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Top state mental health official charged with child endangerment, legislators await pay raise decision, rescued bear cub euthanized

Top state official charged with child exploitation
A special assistant to the commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health was is facing 29 counts of child endangerment after police say he lured teens into his home, and, among other things, asked them to wear diapers. [News 10][TU]

Legislative pay raise
The decision on a long-awaited pay raise for stat legislators is in the hands of a state compensation committee and should come within the next three months. [TU]

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Albany homicides reach 12, JCOPE hasn't investigated Cuomo, flooding issues continue on Western Avenue, Saratoga City Hall closed for a year

Albany homicides
Albany has recorded 12 homicides in 2018 so far -- the highest number in 18 years. [TU]

Sentencing in Schenectady stabbing
A Schenectady woman will serve 3 years in prison for an April stabbing at Summit Towers apartments in the city. [Gazette]

Manslaughter plea
An Albany woman pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter Tuesday morning, in connection with the overdose death of a 24-year-old woman found in a snowbank in March. [TU]

"It felt like my whole back was on fire"
Ellazar Williams, the man paralyzed after being shot in the back in a police involved shooting, told his story to Paul Grondahl[TU]

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Cohoes mayor says he's not resigning, record turnout for Democratic primary, dirt bike ride through supermarket

Shawn Morse
+ As more local political leaders called for him to resign Monday over multiple accusations of domestic violence, Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse announced at a press conference that he would not: "I ain't down, I ain't on my knees, I ain't resigning." [@MCCoyCountyExec] [News10] [WNYT]

+ Morse used the press conference to deny the series of accusations: "I've never touched a woman. I've never touched my wife. I never touched my daughters and I never touched my son and I will take that to the grave with me because it's never happened." And he tried to paint his estranged wife as the one to blame, saying she's "very troubled, she's on a downward spiral and I'll leave it at that." [CBS6] [TU]

+ Speaking to News10, Brenda Morse reiterated some of the recent accusations against Shawn Morse, including an incident in the parking lot of a Wolf Road restaurant. [News10]

+ At a special Cohoes Common Council meeting Monday night, multiple residents defended Morse during public comments. Councilman Randy Koniowka has continued his call for Morse to step down. [WNYT x2]

+ Chris Churchill: "There's something within us that wants to believe people who really seem as though they are telling the truth. That's how demagogues gain power." [TU]

Aftermath of Albany police shooting
Paul Grondahl visited with Ellazar Williams, the man shot by an Albany police detective during an incident in which police say Williams had a large knife -- Williams is now paralyzed from the chest down. (He did not speak about the shooting with Grondahl.) [TU]

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Governor calls for Cohoes mayor to resign, what state Senate shift could mean, APD chief talks about response to gun violence

Shawn Morse
+ The Times Union obtained child protective services reports and an affidavit that detail allegations Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse was physically violent with his wife and daughter on multiple occasions. Morse's Twitter account called the Times Union reporting "orchestrated stories" and accused the paper of having "exploited the mental illness and drug addiction of my wife for your own personal gain." [TU] [@MayorMorse12047]

+ On Sunday Andrew Cuomo released a statement calling for Morse to resign: "The frightening and egregious evidence of domestic violence against Mayor Morse, as documented in recent media reports, cannot be ignored. Given the documented evidence presented in these reports, it is clear he cannot continue to serve and must resign. The New York State Police have reopened their investigation based on new reported evidence." [Cuomo admin]

+ Also on Sunday: Colonie police said they're investigating a complaint from Morse's wife that he grabbed her and spit in her face during a meeting at Wolf Road restaurant last week. [TU]

+ State Assembly member -- and former Cohoes mayor -- John McDonald on Morse: "I don't know how you can walk into that office and expect to carry on the job of being there." [WNYT]

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Cuomo wins Democratic primary for governor, multiple state Senate incumbents lose, 911 call from wife of Cohoes mayor, Troy city employee charged in connection with land sale situation

Democratic primary for governor
+ Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary for governor 64-34. over Cynthia Nixon.*
+ Cynthia Nixon: ""What we saw tonight was not what we hoped for, but I am not discouraged. We have fundamentally changed the political landscape in this state." [Politico]
+ Despite the media attention for Nixon's challenge, Cuomo had gathered the support of the party establishment, labor unions, and real estate interests. He an overwhelming advantage in the amount of campaign funding available to him for the primary. [NYT] [Politico]
+ Cuomo's campaign said spent primary night at a private watch party the Executive Mansion in Albany. [TU]

* That tally, like all totals mentioned here, is unofficial and represents the reported count by the state Board of Election for 99.5 percent of election districts statewide.

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It's Primary Day, arrest in fatal stabbing, Albany DMV moving, looking for a few good trees

Primary Day
+ Today is primary day for state elections. Check with your county board of election website or the state Board of Election for polling places and sample ballots. [TU]
+ Chris Churchill on the reasons for low voter turnout in New York. [TU]
+ Getting out the vote among immigrants and minorities. [TU]

Arrest in fatal stabbing
A 21-year-old Troy man is a suspect in the fatal Lark Street stabbing of a 45-year-old Albany man in late July. [TU]

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Countdown to primaries, advocates say report in Albany police involved shooting is flawed, Regeneron to add 1,500 jobs, telemedicine could help homeless patients in Schenectady

Primaries
+Thursday is primary day. Here's a rundown of local races. [Gazette]

+Chris Churchill takes Andrew Cuomo to task for opening the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge at the beginning of primary week. [TU]

+Campaigning around 9/11.

+Senator Jeff Klein's struggle to appeal to Democrats after leading the IDC. [NYT]

Questions in police involved shooting
Civil rights leader Alice Green and advocates for the Center for Law and Justice says the APD explanation of a police involved shooting of a 19-year-old suspect still leaves questions about how the teen was shot in the back. [Spectrum][TU]

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Gubernatorial primary crunch time, shooting in Albany, planned makeover of Madison Theater delayed, lucky dog

Gubernatorial election
+ The drama over the (not) opening of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge across the Tappan Zee continued with the New York Times getting a hold of an internal document in which the Cuomo admin offered the bridge contractor potential enticements to get the bridge open by late August. [NYT]
+ The Cuomo campaign also continued its effort to distance itself from a mailer sent out by the state Democratic Party that tried to associate Cynthia Nixon with anti-Semitism. A Daily Gazette editorial on that effort: "But don't you believe them. They knew exactly what they were doing." [Politico] [Daily Gazette]
+ Arguing the case for and against a Cynthia Nixon win in the Democratic primary. [TU]
+ A look at the Cuomo campaign's rapid spending and flurry of announcements heading into the primary. [Politico]
+ Chris Churchill: "The end of the Democratic primary is bringing out the worst in Andrew Cuomo. What else would we expect?" [TU]
+ Zephyr Teachout was in Albany Monday and said that if elected state Attorney General, she would investigate the Cuomo admin on allegations of a misuse of public funds for campaign purposes. [Spectrum] [TU]

19th Congressional District election
Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado is accusing Republican incumbent John Faso of trying to avoid a one-on-one debate after two potential TV debates were canceled because of Faso's request for the inclusion of the Green Party candidate. [TU]

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It's primary week, new Albany police chief sworn in, Troy police officer charged, big month for Schenectady casino

Gubernatorial election
+ In a Siena poll out Monday morning Andrew Cuomo continued to have big lead on Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic primary this week. [SRI]
+ But things didn't go so well for Cuomo over the weekend: After the grand opening of a span of the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge across the Tappan Zee Friday, the new section did not open Saturday because of a "potentially dangerous situation" involving a section of the old bridge. Marc Molinaro is calling for a federal investigation of the bridge. [Politico] [NYT] [LoHud]
+ Also over the weekend: Cuomo tried to distance himself from a mailer sent out by state Democratic Party that attempted to connect Nixon with anti-Semitism. The Nixon campaign called for an apology from Cuomo. [NYT] [Politico]
+ And the New York Times published an analysis of Cuomo travel records concluding he took 195 trips on state planes and helicopters in 2017, more frequently than the governors of other large states. [NYT]
+ A look at the matchup between incumbent lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul and Democratic challenger Jumaane Williams. [TU]

New Albany police chief
New Albany police chief Eric Hawkins at his swearing in on Friday: "I'm here to help this police department move to that next level of cooperation, partnership and collaboration with the members of this community because challenges, like the challenges we've faced over these last two-three months, are best addressed when the members of the police department work very closely and collaboratively with the members of this community." [TU]

Police oversight
Chris Churchill on the friendship that developed between the mothers of two men who died during interactions with police in Saratoga County and the difficulty in finding out exactly what happened and why in the cases. [TU]

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APD says detective's shooting of man was justified, conviction in retrial of 1986 fatal Troy fire, the state of the craft beer boom

Albany police presentation on Ellazar Williams shooting by commander Michael Basile 2018-09-06

Albany police commander Michael Basile.

Review of case involving man shot by Albany police
+ The Albany Police Department released the results of its internal investigation into the police shooting of Ellazar Williams behind the Tony Clement Center for Education in West Hill August 20. APD commander Michael Basile -- who was acting chief at the time -- walked through a presentation with surveillance cam stills and video, a 911 call following an incident near a shop on Central Ave in which the caller said they thought a man had a gun, and police radio calls. Basile said video indicated that Williams had been carrying a large knife and he still had the knife when detective James Olsen chased Williams behind the school building into a fenced-in area. Basile said Williams tripped, dropped the knife, then "rearmed himself and became an imminent danger" towards the detective. That's when Basile said Olsen feared for his safety and the detective fired two shots, hitting Williams once in a spot Basile described as the left rear shoulder. The incident appears in the background of a video and it doesn't show the detective's exact position at the time of the shooting. The detective wasn't outfitted with a body camera, nor did he have a taser. [TU] [CBS6] [Spectrum]

+ "Through our investigation it's been determined that detective Olsen's were consistent with his training and the policies of the Albany police department," Basile told the media. "We've concluded that his actions were justified at this point."

+ New Albany police chief Eric Hawkins, who will be sworn in Friday: "We always try to resolve these types of incidents as peacefully as possible. In this case, the use of force, per our internal investigation, was necessary. But it doesn't take away from the fact that it was a very traumatic experience for everybody involved and we're sensitive to that."

+ Alice Green, the executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, was briefed by the APD about the investigation. After the media presentation Thursday, she spoke with reporters outside police headquarters and said she hasn't come to a conclusion for herself about the shooting. "I'm not being critical of their report. I'm sure they did everything they could with the information that they had," Green said, noting that police didn't have access to Williams or his medical report. (His attorney recommended he not speak with police because he's facing charges.) She said one of the key questions for the community is how Williams ended up being shot in a spot that she described more as his back than his shoulder.

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Two shootings in Troy, public hearing on marijuana legalization, Rensselaer County sheriff at the White House, too hot for school?

Troy shootings
Troy police are investigating a pair of shootings that injured three people in the city overnight. [TU][Spectrum]

Marijuana legalization
The first of 15 statewide listening sessions on legalization of marijuana was held last night in Albany. Most of the speakers at the two-hour session spoke in favor of legalization and questioned specifics and logistics involved. [Spectrum][TU][Gazette]

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Protestors demand answers in police involved shooting, Albany attack labeled hate crime, 1st day for new APD chief, it's hot

Protestors seek answers in police-involved shooting
Nearly 100 community members and family members of Ellazar Williams, the man who was paralyzed after being shot by Albany police detectives last month, protested Tuesday night to demand answers in the shooting. [TU]

Video shows June shooting
Footage from a surveillance camera in front of Equan Fallen's Livingston Avenue home shows two men shooting Fallen to death in front of his door. [TU]

Albany attack labeled hate crime charge
Albany investigators believe an attack in the city over the weekend was a hate crime. Police say a man repeatedly stabbed a person and stomped on his head because the victim was homosexual. APD says the arrested man is also believed to be mentally ill. [WNYT][TU][Spectrum]

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Continued questions about man's death in Schenectady group home, Nixon makes Capital Region campaign stops, Central Warehouse owner says he's working on the project

Investigation of man's death in Schenectady group home
Lauren Stanforth looks in the investigation of the death of a man with developmental disabilities in a Schenectady group home in July 2017 -- there are still few details about how he died and the situation surrounding the death -- and the state's overall process for reviewing these sorts of deaths. [TU]

Gubernatorial election
+ Cynthia Nixon made campaign appearances in Schenectady and Saratoga Springs Sunday, and she said the lack of upstate topics at the recent debate was a result of the moderators' questions. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
+ Where Nixon and Andrew Cuomo stand on potentially pursuing single-payer healthcare in New York State. [TU]

Crystal Run and the Cuomo admin
Chris Bragg continues to pull at threads related to the Crystal Run Healthcare -- a major campaign donor to Andrew Cuomo -- and state grants the Hudson Valley company has gotten, including $6 million in reimbursements for items such as office furniture. [TU]

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APD says teen shot by police was wielding knife, Cuomo/Nixon to debate tonight, Spa City walk/vigil highlight contribution of immigrants

Albany police involved shooting
Albany police say Ellazar Williams, the teen who was paralyzed last week after being shot by officers, ran at them with a knife before the shooting and refused to drop the weapon. The officer who shot Williams was named in brutality claims in 2004 and 2005. Albany police apparently have video of the incident. [TU][WNYT]

Cuomo / Nixon
Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo are set to debate tonight. The debate will air on CBS.[TU]

Stephanie Miner
After three people with ties to the Democratic Party challenged her petitions to run on the Serve America Movement party, independent gubernatorial candidate and former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is blaming Andrew Cuomo . [TU]

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Layoffs at GlobalFoundries, questioning oversight of Saratoga Springs police, Pinhead Susan's for sale, George the turkey is missing

Layoffs at GlobalFoundries
+ GlobalFoundries is laying off hundreds of employees in Malta as part of a companywide strategy change on the manufacturing the next generation of computer chips. The Malta site has had about 3,300 employees recently. [Biz Review]
+ The company's direction change could also have implications for work -- and jobs -- at the SUNY Poly campus in Albany, Larry Rulison notes in a big-picture view of what's happening. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police and the death of Darryl Mount Jr.
+ Following the Times Union story this past weekend that revealed Saratoga Springs police didn't pursue an internal investigation of the death of Darryl Mount Jr. -- despite the police chief saying it did -- the city's public safety commissioner said a civilian review board was unnecessary and "would create another layer of bureaucracy that create more negatives than positives." [TU]
+ From a Daily Gazette editorial regarding the Times Union story and the case: "In a case like that, it's in the best interests of the citizens to take the investigation out of the hands of police and give it to an authority that isn't akin to allowing the fox to guard the hen house." [Daily Gazette]
+ Chris Churchill: "Call me naive, but I still like to believe that police chiefs should have more credibility than the average baby-kisser. When they speak, we should be able to trust what they say. We want to believe our police. [Police chief Gregory] Veitch has lost that trust, which makes it fair to wonder whether he can continue as chief." [TU]

Investigation into Albany police shooting of man
+ Acting Albany police chief Michael Basile said Monday there isn't an exact timeline for completing the investigation of the situation in which department detectives shot Ellazar Williams following a foot chase last week. Williams arraigned in the hospital Monday on charges of felony menacing a police officer and misdemeanor possession of a weapon. [TU] [Spectrum]
+ Center for Law and Justice executive director Alice Green, who's been critical of the department's transparency level on this case, after a meeting with police and community leaders Monday: "Having a meeting like this was very helpful and very useful." [News10]

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Saratoga Springs police and the death of Darryl Mount Jr, tracking the life of Rayen Puleski, Kirsten Gillibrand town hall, Travers winner

Saratoga Springs police and the death of Darryl Mount Jr.
Following the injury and death of Darryl Mount Jr. following a foot chase with police in Saratoga Springs in August 2013, police and city officials in Saratoga Springs rejected calls for an outside investigation and pointed to an internal review that found no police misconduct -- but as Barbara Lombardo reports, the city's police chief admitted in a deposition that there was never any internal investigation. [TU]

Tracking the life of Rayen Puleski
Jake Lahut and Steven Cook attempted to the track the life of Rayen Puleski, the infant who had gone missing in July and whose suspected body was found behind a State Street residence in Schenectady. "Through more than a dozen interviews conducted by The Daily Gazette in the days since Rayen's body was found, a picture has emerged of his short life, which was marked by moves between motels, run-down buildings and multiple attempts, including at least two by Child Protective Services, to get help for the infant and his mother." [Daily Gazette]

Gun violence in Albany
+ Albany police say they're investigating the shooting of a 42-year-old man around the 200 block of Central Ave early Sunday morning. APD says the man did not have life-threatening injuries. It's asking anyone with info to call. [APD]
+ At an Albany NAACP forum on gun violence at the Albany Public Library Washington Ave Branch Saturday, panelists talked about the factors that feed into the violence, including poverty and hopelessness. [Spectrum]

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Cynthia Nixon in Albany, police say robbery report that prompted manhunt was made up, $40 million for key Troy water pipe

Cynthia Nixon in Albany
+ At a campaign event in Arbor Hill Thursday, Cynthia Nixon talked about school funding and ending suspensions for grades K-3. [WNYT]
+ Nixon said she thinks Andrew Cuomo would rather run against Donald Trump: "I think frankly he's not interested in being governor of New York state anymore. He's sort of passed over this race." [Spectrum]
+ And when asked if Marc Molinaro would be a better governor than Cuomo: "I don't think Governor Cuomo has been a good governor because I think he has largely been someone who talks like a Democrat but governs like a Republican. I think having someone who talks like a Republican and governs like a Republican would be a step down." [Buffalo News]
+ In a meeting with the Times Union editorial board, Nixon compared Andrew Cuomo and Donald Trump as "a couple of alpha males who have turned a blind eye to sexual harassment and worse in their own administrations." [TU]
+ A wider-angle look at the Nixon campaign's efforts to attract people who don't typically vote. [NYT]

ICE detainees at Albany County jail
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple on the number of ICE detainees at the Albany County jail falling in recent weeks: "I would certainly hope that it's not because we're helping them. We're doing what we do for everybody. We're treating them with dignity." [TU]

Albany police detective retiring after complaints
"Two sources familiar with the matter" tell the Times Union an Albany police detective recently retired after at least one woman filed a complaint against him. [TU]

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Albany police chief gets start date, State Tax Department subpoenas Cohen, gutter falls from Schenectady railroad bridge, remains of Delmar pilot return home from Vietnam

Police chief start date
Albany's new Police Chief will start work on September 5 and will officially be sworn in on Friday, September 7.[TU]

Railroad falls
A section of downtown Union Street in Schenectady was closed for a stretch on Wednesday afternoon after a gutter fell from the railroad bridge over the street. [Gazette]

State investigates Cohen
The NY State Tax and Finance department is conducting an investigation into Michael Cohen. Cohen was subpoenaed on Wednesday by the Tax Department for "documents and potential testimony" on the Trump Foundation.[TU][Politico]

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Common Council approves Hawkins as Albany Police Chief, two pedestrian injured in hit-and-run, Tinning released from prison, Egg tagged

New Albany police chief
The Albany Common Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve Eric Hawkins as the city's new chief of police. Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, Hawkins said he said communication and forming relationships are an important part of his vision for the force. And he said not opposed to working with groups like the Guardian Angels if they want "assist the city in a collaborative way." [News 10][TU][Spectrum][WNYT]

Albany police involved shooting
The man shot by an Albany police detective earlier this week has been identified as 19-year-old Ellazar Williams of Binghamton. Williams was in Stable condition on Tuesday at Albany Medical Center. Police found a knife at the scene of the shooting that is believed to belong to Williams. [TU][Spectrum]

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Man shot by Albany police, reported indicated risk of fall rock at Thacher State Park, apology after Troy city employee took down church display

Man shot by Albany police
Albany police say a man was shot a detective Monday on Elk Street. Acting Chief Michael Basile said at a press conference that a group of detectives had responded to a report of fight on Central Ave involving a weapon. Basile the detectives saw a person who fit the description of a suspect with a gun, approached him, he ran over to Elk Street, and one of the detectives fired, hitting a man. Tuesday morning APD said the man was in critical condition. Basile said a large knife was recovered at the scene of the shooting, but no hand gun as of Monday evening. A rep from the state Attorney General's office was on the scene. Basile said the press conference that detectives are not yet outfitted with body cameras. [APD] [TU x2]

Next Albany police chief
The Common Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening on the appointment of Eric Hawkins as the next Albany police chief. The public safety committee meeting is at 5:30 pm, the full council's special meeting is immediately following the committee meeting. [TU]

Thacher State Park falling rocks
State parks had some idea about the risk of falling rocks on the Indian Ladder trail at Thacher State Park a few months before a Bethlehem woman was injured by falling rock there, according to a redacted report obtained by the Times Union via FOIL. [TU]

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The Northway and Clifton Park, libraries responding to opioid epidemic, 300 land bank properties sold, "famous" lemonade stand returns

The Northway
The Times Union pulled together package of articles about the Northway's history, its effects, and the future:
+ How the Northway ended up taking the route it now follows. [TU]
+ A look at the huge effect the highway had on Saratoga County. [TU]
+ Why the highway probably won't be expanded any time soon. [TU]

Clifton Park
Fittingly, the Daily Gazette focused on Clifton Park this weekend:
+ How the Northway, a developer, and the presence of greenfields helped shape the Clifton Park of today. [Daily Gazette]
+ The homes built by that developer -- the Van Patten Homes -- continue to be a key part of the town's housing stock. [Daily Gazette]
+ A look at Clifton Park's attempt to zone and develop for a downtown-style town center. [Daily Gazette]

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Albany landfill closure date extended and city trash plan on hold, Nixon pushes for universal rent control, Goldstock's closed

Albany landfill and trash collection
The projected closure date of the Albany landfill has been extended to 2026, and the city's new DGS commissioner tells Amanda Fries the transition to pay-as-you-throw garbage collection "is not dead, but it's not alive." [TU]

State money for Albany crime prevention
The Cuomo admin says it's directing $2.2 million toward anti-violence initiatives in the city of Albany, including money for job training, a mentorship program, State Police assistance on patrols, and crime analysis. [TU]

Albany County ADA resigns over freelance work
The Albany County prosecutor found out to be doing freelance appeals work for a prominent local defense attorney has resigned and is taking a job with the county public defender's office. [TU]

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Mother arraigned on charges related to discovery of deceased infant, man injured in Grand Street shooting, protestors greet Spicer in Saratoga, French teen visits nurses who saved her life

Police: Addicted mother buried child
Heaven Puleski was arraigned on Wednesday on charges relating to the disappearance of her four-month-old-son Rayen, whose body was found this week in hole behind their State Street home in Schenectady. Police say Puleski was too high on heroin to care for the child, and admitted to wrapping him in plastic bags and hiding him behind the house after he died. The judge set her bail at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond, and sent her to county jail.[News 10][Gazette][TU]

Baby safe haven laws
Sara Foss shines a light on the little known Baby Safe Haven laws that could have protected Rayen Puleski.[Gazette]

Cuomo's America was "never that great" comment
Firing back at Trump's "Make America Great Again" rhetoric, Andrew Cuomo said "We are not going to make America great, America was never that great." Donald Trump and other Republicans quickly took aim at Cuomo for the quote. The governor continued saying,"We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged." [Spectrum][WNYT][TU][NYT]

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Mother faces charges connected to discovery of infant's body, state sues OxyContin makers, Rensselaer planners reviewing gondola plan

Investigation of infant death in Schenectady
Schenectady police have charged Heaven Puleski, the mother of 4-month-old Rayen Puleski, with a string of felonies related to the discovery of a body now believed to be her baby. The charges include one count each of tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse, felonies, as well as misdemeanor child endangerment but she has not been charged with murder. Puleski is in Schenectady city jail awaiting arraignment today. An autopsy on the child is expected to take a while. [Gazette][WNYT][TU][News 10][Spectrum]

Opioid suit
New York State is suing the maker of OxyContin for allegedly downplaying the risks and overstating the benefits of opioid products, helping to fuel an addiction and overdose epidemic. [TU]

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Few new details in Schenectady missing infant case, Trump visits upstate, wanting to believe in bigfoot

Investigation of infant death in Schenectady
+ Schenectady police said Monday they need more time for the autopsy and identification process for the remains found behind a State Street residence, and did not indicate whether they think the remains are that of an infant whose mother had been living at the address. "Individuals familiar with the ongoing joint probe" tell the Times Union that the remains were badly decomposed, making the identification process difficult. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
+ The missing infant's mother's aunt said Monday she has hope the child is still alive, but worries the situation is too coincidental. She also said she thinks child protective services failed the infant by not following up on a claim about the infant's living situation. [Spectrum] [News10]

Albany County styrofoam ban
The Albany County Legislature voted Monday to expand the ban on the use of polystyrene (styrofoam) at food service establishments. (The ban previously had applied to chain restaurants.) [TU]

Donald Trump upstate
+ Donald Trump visited Fort Drum Monday to sign a military appropriations bill and told the crowd there that Elise Stefanik had "called me so many times" to make a stop there. In a tweet, Stefanik said it was an honor to have Trump accept her invitation to visit Fort Drum. [TU] [@EliseStefanik]
+ At a fundraiser for Republican Congress member Claudia Tenney -- who's facing a challenge from Democrat Anthony Brindisi -- in Utica later in the day, Trump criticized Andrew Cuomo and Kirsten Gillibrand. [Politico x2]

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Two drivers charged in fatal I-90 crash, Trump visiting Upstate, figuring out the Excelsior Scholarship, complaints about Albany basketball court shutdown

Fatal I-90 crash
State Police a driver was killed when their car was struck on the eastbound side of I-90 in East Greenbush Saturday afternoon, ended up crossing the median, and was then struck again by a vehicle traveling in the westbound lane. State Police also say the drivers of both the eastbound and westbound striking cars were arrested on vehicular manslaughter and DWI charges, and the westbound driver had kids in the vehicle. State Police are asking any witnesses of the incident to contact them. [NYSP] [TU]

Investigation of apparent infant death in Schenectady
+ On Friday Schenectady police were still sharing few details about the investigation of the body "consistent with that of a child" found behind a residential building on State Street Thursday. And the family of the mother who lived at the building -- and whose infant was reported missing earlier in the week -- said they were frustrated by the lack of details. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
+ Sara Foss: "[I]f it takes a village to raise a child, we need to take a good, hard look at the village where the child's body was found, and ask some difficult questions." [Daily Gazette]

Donald Trump Upstate
Donald Trump will be signing a bill at Fort Drum Monday and then making an appearance at a private fundraiser in Utica -- it's his first visit to Upstate New York since taking office. [TU]

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Four more NXIVM arrests, conviction upheld in deadly Troy fire, Capital Region unemployment drops again, Marry Me Mint

NXIVM
Four more members of NXIVM were arrested on Tuesday. Segram's heiress Clare Bronfman, NXIVM's president Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell have been indicted for allegedly recruiting and grooming sexual partners for Raniere and of using "harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate and attack perceived enemies and critics of Raniere."Bronfman pled not guilty and was released on $100 million bond. [Spectrum][TU][NYT]

2nd conviction in Troy fire
Fifty-year-old Richard J. Wright who served three decades in prison for the fire that killed two teenage girls in Troy, was convicted a second time on Tuesday by State Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia. [TU]

1970s murderer free
The man convicted of the murder of a 17-year-old girl in 1970 has been released from prison. [TU]

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Sentencing in Schenectady Facebook Live standoff, local newspapers suffering large circulation declines, Esperanto eyeing doughboy bakery, 70 years together

Sentencing in Schenectady police shooting shown on Facebook
The man shot by Schenectady police during a standoff that was streamed on Facebook Live last summer was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a felony weapons charges and multiple misdemeanors. [Daily Gazette]

Parole denied for driver in fatal Northway crash
The driver convicted of causing the 2012 Northway crash that killed Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers was denied parole Monday. [Daily Gazette]

Justice Center
The state's Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs is now five years old, and critics say it's falling short of its purpose. [TU]

Albany County paid sick leave proposal
Advocates are continuing to push the case for Albany County to adopt legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick leave. The bill was recently amended to allow businesses with five or fewer employees to offer unpaid sick days. [TU] [Spectrum]

Local newspapers
Many of the biggest newspapers in the Capital Region have had large declines in the paid circulation for their paper versions over the last decade. [Biz Review]

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Examining the context of Albany's rash of violence, fired Home Depot employee passes on job re-offer, state's bill for food truck fight, Grandma's is set to re-open

Recent rash of violence in Albany
+ Amanda Fries and a group of Times Union reporters looked at the 16 homicides in Albany over the last 19 months -- six are currently unsolved -- and talked with local law enforcement officials and experts about the patterns and context associated with the deaths. [TU]
+ Albany County DA David Soares on the recent uptick in violence in the city: "One of the things that we're also seeing that I will tell you is of concern to me is that an individual can be shot in the presence of 25 people and yet, no one knows or sees anything." Also: ""We have the means and the ability to move people and to protect the identification of people who come forward with information." [WNYT] [TU]
+ A group called Albany Concerned Citizens led a peace walk through the South End Sunday. [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Maurice Rucker
After the outpouring of public support for Maurice Rucker -- the employee at the Albany Home Depot fired after he stood up to a racist customer instead of calling for a manager -- the chain has offered him his job back. He's not accepting it: "I personally felt it was kind of disingenuous." He says he's gotten multiple job offers and has an interview Albany County exec Dan McCoy this week. [TU] [Spectrum] [TU]

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New Albany police chief appointed, the experiences of detained immigrants, developer buys First Prize site, floating islands against river pollution

Next Albany police chief
+ Kathy Sheehan has appointed Eric Hawkins to be the next Albany police chief. He's currently the police chief in Southfield, Michigan, and in a statement Sheehan said he has "a firm commitment to community policing and 21st century policing strategies." (Interesting bio bit: He has a law degree.) The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Common Council. [Sheehan admin press release]
+ Hawkins is line to become the city's second African-American police chief and first since 1995. [TU]

Detained immigrants
+ A look at the complicated situation facing a Troy woman currently held in an ICE detainment facility near Buffalo. [The Alt]
+ A New York Immigration Coalition official praising the services the 300some ICE detainees are getting at the Albany County jail: "I have never experienced the level of cooperation and concern for the well being of the immigrant detainees that I have witnessed at the Albany County jail." [TU]

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Q Poll: Cuomo has double digit lead over Nixon, Troy protests over grand jury decision in Dahmeek McDonald shooting, bullet holes found in Albany County Democratic headquarters

Justice for Dahmeek protest outside Troy Police Department
Protestors gathered outside the Troy police department on Wednesday to protest the grand jury decision not to prosecute the officer who shot Dahmeek McDonald in an incident last August.[Spectrum][TU]

Bullet holes at Albany County Dem headquarters
An Albany County Democratic Committee Employee discovered a series of bullet holes lodged in the building on Wednesday morning. No-one was in the building when shots were fired. Some of the bullet holes were new and others may have been fired as early as last week. [Spectrum][TU][WNYT]

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Charges in Schenectady family shooting, Skelos & Son convicted in retrial, Guardian Angels plan Albany recruitment, gun show moves to Schenectady

Charges in Schenectady family shooting
Dushawn Howard was officially charged on Tuesday with three separate counts of second-degree attempted murder in last week's shooting of his former girlfriend and two of her children. Howard, who was also injured in the incident, was arraigned at his bedside in Albany Medical Center and was released into the custody of the Schenectady County Sheriff's Office.[Gazette][WNYT][TU]

Skelos and son convicted in retrial
Former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, were convicted of all counts on Tuesday in their corruption re-trial.[NYT]

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Albany continues to deal with rash of violence, no charges for Troy officer in 2017 shooting, reps reacts to Trump/Putin, possible repurposing for Troy pools

Albany violence
+ Albany police say they've arrested a man for the fatal shooting of Equan Fallen on Livingston Ave in West Hill in June. [APD]
+ The man accused of being involved in the fatal stabbing of Rashaun Byrd on July 5 has been indicted on charges that include murder. [TU]
+ The Albany Common Council voted to increase the police chief's salary to as much as $145k a year -- which prompted pushback from one of the candidates for the job. (See the tweets from Amanda Fries for a recap of the council caucus and meeting Monday night.) [TU] [WNYT] [@mandy_fries]
+ The council meeting also included public commenters urging action in response to the recent flare up of violence. [Spectrum]
+ Council member Joyce Love has issued support for curbing the hours of corner stores. [News10]
+ Despite not being welcomed the first time, the Guardian Angels say they'll be returning to Albany Tuesday. [TU]

No charges for Troy officer in shooting
+ Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney announced Monday, in his role as special prosecutor, that a grand jury has declined to file charges against Troy police officer Jarrod Iler in the August 15, 2017 shooting of Dahmeek McDonald. Here's Carney's statement. [TU] [Troy Record]
+ Mark Mishler, McDonald's attorney, in a statement: "We are dismayed but not surprised by the outcome of this investigation, which unfortunately fits into a now-standard pattern in this country by which police officers who use deadly force against unarmed civilians are rarely charged." [WNYT]

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Another fatal shooting in Albany, Cuomo on Kaloyeros conviction, parole for Marybeth Tinning, naked in a cave

Albany gun violence
+ Albany police say 31-year-old Kahlil Barnes was fatally shot early Saturday morning near Quail and First in West Hill. His death is the 8th homicide of the year and third in July. [APD] [TU]
+ The funeral for Elijah Cancer -- who worked for an anti-violence initiative and was killed while trying to break up a fight in the South End -- was Saturday at Metropolitan Baptist Church. And on Sunday community members -- including the parents of Kahlil Barnes -- gathered Sunday in Arbor Hill Park to talk about the string of shootings. Barnes and Cancer were once members of rival groups back in the 00s, but Barnes's mother says they had since become friends: "Both of them came home and changed their life and were working to better the community." [Spectrum] [WNYT] [TU] [Spectrum]
+ The Albany Police Department says it's expecting to make arrests related to the recent string of violence. [WNYT]
+ Kathy Sheehan told CBS6 that her administration is looking at possibly limiting the hours of corner stores as an anti-violence measure. [CBS6]

Andrew Cuomo on Kaloyeros conviction
+ On Friday Andrew Cuomo tried to frame the situation surrounding the conviction of Alain Kaloyeros as one that pre-dated him and was distanced from him as part of SUNY. [Politico NY]
+ Chris Churchill on the state Department of Health report on marijuana legalization being released the day after the Kaloyeros conviction: "I'm half surprised the governor stopped short of handing out pot samples to fog everyone's memory." [Politico NY] [TU]

Pedestrian killed in crash
Saratoga Springs police tell WNYT that a pedestrian died on Route 9 during a crash early Monday morning. [WNYT]

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Kaloyeros found guilty, Albany police officers union says it's not apologizing for statement, Albany neighborhoods continue to deal with storm flooding, scenes from the Build-A-Bear line

Kaloyeros guilty
+ A federal jury found Alain Kaloyeros and three development company executives guilty of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy related to the bidding process for projects connected to SUNY Poly in Syracuse and Buffalo. His attorney said after the verdict in Manhattan that "there's no way that Alain Kaloyeros is guilty" and that they're planning an appeal. [TU] [NYT] [Biz Review]
+ The verdict prompted another round of calls for corruption reform in state government. [Politico NY]
+ Assemblyman John McDonald says there should be a review of the contracts and the state comptroller's office should be involved. [WNYT]

Amazon warehouse
+ Schodack residents turned out to express their concerns at a Rensselaer County IDA hearing Thursday about possible tax breaks for the proposed warehouse project that would be occupied by Amazon. [TU]
+ A consultancy analysis concluded that the warehouse project would generate $31 million in revenue over 20 years for the town, school district, and other taxing districts. [Biz Review]

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History of domestic violence in Schenectady shooting, Albany County considers sanctuary law, population growth in Saratoga County

Schenectady shooting update
+ Corrected The mother shot in the triple shooting in Schenectady this week has a history of being the subject of domestic violence. The victim told police she was afraid to leave Deshawn Howard, because she knew he had a gun and he threatened to kill her and her children if she left him. The woman had an order of protection against Howard, obtained earlier this year after he punched her in the face in front of her children. [WNYT][Gazette][TU]
+ Sara Foss on two domestic violence cases and the effect of domestic violence on children. [Gazette]

Response to Albany shootings
"I want to see the outrage. I want to see people angry" -- Acting Albany police Chief Bob Sears on the community outrage and response to the rash of shootings and violence in the city this summer. [TU]

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Albany police chief issues pointed response to officers' union Facebook statement, the challenge for immigration detainees being held at Albany County jail, online comments and governments

Gun violence in Albany
+ In a statement Monday, and later press conference, acting Albany police chief Bob Sears issued a remarkably pointed response to the statement posted on the officers' union Facebook page over the weekend that had criticized city and department leadership as well as an anti-gun violence initiative in the city (the union unpublished the message Monday morning). And Sears called out a union VP by name for the statement. Said Sears at the press conference: "That comment completely unnecessary, inflammatory has the ability to undermine this whole department and this whole community and everything we've done in the one sentence over the last 10 years." [APD] [WNYT] [News10]
+ Albany Police Officers Union president David Verrelli told the Times Union the union Facebook page statement "was merely one person's observation" and "it was just poor timing" during the recent flare up of gun violence in the city. [TU]
+ Albany Common Council member Derek Johnson on the death of Elijah Cancer, who was killed in the South End this past weekend while trying to break up a fight: "I lost a mentee, I lost a little brother and I lost a friend ... I lost a whole bunch of things at the same time, and I know I'm not the only one feeling that way." [TU]

ICE detainees at Albany County Jail
An official with the the New York Immigration Coalition on the ICE detainees being kept at the Albany County Jail, where attorneys and orgs are offering them counsel and services, to the Times Union: "They don't know where they are, they don't know the day. No one has explained anything to them." [TU]

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More shootings in Albany, community rallies against violence, criticism of Albany methadone clinic, Grandma's is closing

Gun violence in Albany
+ Albany police say one man was killed, and another injured, in a shooting early Saturday morning on Teunis Street in the South End (map). APD says man who died was 32-year-old Elijah Cancer, who was an outreach worker for the Albany 518 SNUG anti-violence program run by Trinity Alliance. APD says it appears Cancer was trying to break up a fight when he was shot. [APD] [TU] [Trinity Alliance]
+ Albany police say there were two separate shootings in the Arbor Hill / Sheridan Hollow area early Sunday morning. APD says three men are believed to have been shot around 1 am near Third and North Swan (map). And then at about 2:20 am officers responded to a report of shooting on the 300 block of Orange Street (block map) -- one man had been taken to the hospital in critical condition. APD says the men shot in the first incident "have been highly uncooperative with the police." And APD says it's unclear if the two incidents are connected. [APD]
+ There was a community rally in Arbor Hill Park Sunday to address the recent flare up of gun violence. Kathy Sheehan told the crowd: "I'm here to tell you, I need your help ... I'm here ready to do whatever it takes. We stand ready to do whatever it takes." [WNYT] [TU]
+ In a now-deleted post on Facebook, the union that represents Albany police officers said it's "fed up with the violence terrorizing the citizens of Albany" and then criticized Kathy Sheehan for policies and staffing and questioned the value of CURE Violence program (and made a reference to CURE staffers smelling like pot). In a Facebook post, Sheehan said she "will not be responding to the false claims made on social media by a member of the Albany Police Union against myself and APD command staff" and will "not ignore the disgraceful dog whistle language used by this same individual to describe Albany Cure Violence." [APOU Facebook (deleted)] [TU] [Kathy Sheehan office Facebook]

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Frustration over Albany violence, flash flooding, Schenectady fireworks problems persist, lost in the woods

Flare up of violence in Albany
Officials, community leaders, and residents say they're concerned, frustrated, and baffled by the rash of shootings and other violence in Albany on July 4 that left one person dead and multiple injured. [TU]

Flash floods
+ The storm that dropped multiple inches of rain on parts of the city of Albany and Bethlehem Thursday caused flash flooding at many locations. [AOA] [WNYT] [TU]
+ Albany water department commissioner Joe Coffey to Spectrum: "This is a rain event that doesn't happen that often and when it happens, the pipes simply can't handle that kind of water in that short period of time." [Spectrum]

Albany fire chief
The Sheehan administration announced Friday morning that fire chief Warren Abriel Jr will be retiring July 28, and Kathy Sheehan will be announcing a new chief in the future. [City of Albany press release]

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Fatal stabbing and four shot in Albany overnight, 5th grade teacher pleads guilty to rape, officer killed in motorcycle crash, helping people in need cool down

Albany homicide
Albany police are investigating the stabbing death of a 29 year old victim on Orange Street early Thursday morning. [APD]

Four shot in Albany
Albany police say four people who were shot early Thursday morning on Lexington Avenue are being uncooperative in the investigation into the shootings. [TU]

Albany shooting
Albany police are investigating a shooting that took place in the city's Ten Broeck neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon. The victim, a 40-year-old man was shot in the arm and treated at Albany Med. [TU]

APD mourns officer
The city of Albany is mourning Officer Dean Johnson, a 25 year old police officer who died this weekend in an off duty motorcycle crash. [Spectrum]

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Murder charge in fatal Saratoga Springs stabbing, Kaloyeros rejects plea deal, recycling costs increase, affordable housing projects proposed, about that dead coyote...

Saratoga Springs stabbing
Saratoga Springs police say the 46-year-old man stabbed Sunday has died, and the 62-year-old man in custody is facing charges that include second-degree murder. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Kaloyeros trial
The feds offered Alain Kaloyeros a plea deal over the weekend -- and he declined. Prosecutors also got a chance to re-open their case to establish the the court in Manhattan was the proper venue for the trial by calling witnesses from Verizon and the parent company of AOL to testify about email routing. [TU] [Biz Review]

Amazon warehouse
The massive warehouse project in Schodack that would serve as an Amazon facility took a step forward in the town planning process Monday night -- over the objections of of some residents and a labor advocate. [WNYT]

Blue bin blues
Because of changes in policy by China, the economics of recycling materials have shifted -- and, in the city of Albany's case, that means a possible financial impact of $400k per year. [TU]

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It's very hot, surveying effects of the Buffalo Billion, debate over longevity pay for electeds, the dreams of your ancestors

Heat
+ Today's forecast includes temperatures near 100, and the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through Monday night as the heat index is expected to be 100. [NWS x2]
+ Here's a list of cooling centers around the region compiled by the state Department of Health. [NYS DOH]
+ Also: Some local municipalities are offering cooling stations not on that list. Call or check with your local city/town.

Gubernatorial election
+ Surveying the effects -- or lack thereof -- of the Buffalo Billion, one of Andrew Cuomo's signature economic development initiatives. [NYT]
+ The issue of Cuomo campaign contributions has mostly beenabsent from the Alain Kaloyeros trial -- with one brief exception. [TU]
+ Picking through Marcus Molinaro's time as Dutchess County exec, campaign spending and contributions, and county contracts. [TU]

Life in translation
A profile of an Afghan man who served as a translator for the US Army in Afghanistan and now lives in Albany -- he was injured while working with US forces, now works four jobs, and needs a new wheelchair. [TU]

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How a Troy woman ended up facing deportation after traffic stop, prosecution stumbles in Kaloyeros trial, Breslin joins push for renewables for ESP microgrid

Every day local journalists work to find out what's happening and tell people about it. They're working longer and harder as news organizations contract, usually for not much money. And we'd all be worse off without their efforts. If you're not subscribed to a local news outlet, today's a good day to sign up.

Immigrants
+ The number of people now being held at the Albany County jail on immigration charges as part of a federal program is now 197 after a group of almost 100 arrived via airplane Thursday. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said this week the detainees will have access to immigration attorneys and other services at the jail. [TU / Brendan Lyons] [Spectrum / Evan Sery]
+ Charting how a Troy woman -- brought to the United States by her mother at age 17 -- ended up at a federal detention center in western New York after she was arrested for rolling through a stop sign. [TU / Steve Hughes]

Kaloyeros trial
+ The judge in the Alain Kaloyeros trial will allow the feds to re-open their case after the prosecutors failed to show that wire fraud took place in the area covered by Manhattan-based court for the Southern District of New York -- and the venue question may now hinge on... an AOL email address. [TU / Robert Gavin]
+ Judge Valerie Caproni also said Thursday that the prosecution's wire fraud case against two of the company executives on trial was "thin." [Syracuse.com / Julie McMahon]

Supreme Court and New York
Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States -- and its potential implications for the fate of abortion rights in the country -- has prompted a renewed focus on New York State passing the Reproductive Health Act, which would change abortion's place in the state's legal code. The legislation has faced a road block in the state Senate. [Spectrum / Nick Reisman] [News10 / Morgan McKay]

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Delgado & Cobb take Congressional primaries, dozens of immigrants at Albany County jail, anti-semitic graffiti found on Albany rail trail, RPI steps back on Greek life ban

Congressional primaries
+ Former St. Lawrence County legislator Tedra Cobb will take on Elise Stefanik in November for the 21st Congressional District. Cobb ran away with 56% of the vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary. [Gazette]
+ Antonio Delgado emerged victorious in the 19the Congressional District Democratic primary and will take on Republican incumbent John Faso in November. Delgado received 22 percent of the votes to put him at the top of a seven candidate field. [TU][Spectrum]

Anti-Semitic graffiti
Bethlehem police are investigating anti-Semitic graffiti found under a bridge on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail on Tuesday. [TU]


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It's Congressional primary day, charting effects of climate change, Kaloyeros trial, sentence in Remsen street fire, new roof for Egg

Congressional primaries
+ Today is primary day for New York's Congressional elections. Polls here are open from noon to 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the website for your county board of elections or the state board of elections.
+ In the Capital Region, the focus is on the Democratic primaries to pick challengers for Republicans John Faso (NY-19) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21). [Daily Gazette]
+ Congressional primaries in New York State tend to have very low levels of turnout -- so showing up to vote can have even more of an impact. [Politico NY]

Hoosick Falls
The Hoosick Falls village board approved a deal in which Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic and Honeywell International will pay almost $200k for lost sewer and water revenues because of the situation surrounding the PFOA contamination. It's the second settlement the village has struck with the companies and doesn't preclude additional claims. [Spectrum] [TU]

Immigration
+ A look at the efforts of family and friends to free a two-year-old Hungarian boy from the custody of a shelter in the Bronx after his parents were taken into custody by border patrol agents near the Canadian border in Franklin County last month. [TU]
+ Andrew Cuomo said New York State will provide services to children being kept in foster care in orgs in the state after being separated from their families at the border. [Politico NY]

Climate change
Highlighting some of the ways the climate has been changing in New York State over the past century. [TU]

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Albany police fatally shoot man during stabbing incident, push for environmental review of Amazon warehouse, Barack Obama in the Adirondacks, lost emu found

Man fatally shot by Albany police during stabbing incident
+ Albany police say a man was fatally shot by an officer Friday night. APD says two officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon on the second floor of a Partridge Street residence and they found a woman at the bottom of a stairwell. They broke the glass in the door and determined she'd been stabbed. APD says a 20-year-old man, Schuyler Lake, then came down the steps with a knife, did not respond to officers' instructions to drop the knife, and then stabbed the woman again -- that's when APD says one of the officers fired, killing the man. APD says the woman at the bottom of the steps was Lake's mother, and a man found upstairs -- also injured -- is his uncle. APD says the mother was in critical condition Saturday, the uncle had non-life threatening injuries. Both officers are on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. [APD] [TU] [News10]
+ Acting police chief Robert Sears at a press conference Saturday: "Actions of officers saved a woman's life last night." [Spectrum]

Congressional election
+ An overview of the Democrats competing in Tuesday's primaries for the chance to challenge John Faso and Elise Stefanik for local Congressional seats. [TU]
+ Across New York State, there are 34 Democrats competing for a spot to challenge for nine Republican-held Congressional seats. [Politico NY]

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Cuomo asserts right to know about migrant children being kept in New York, ICE active again in Saratoga, Albany tax dispute settled, Kevin Huerter picked in first round of NBA draft

Family separations and New York
+ Andrew Cuomo asserted Thursday that as governor he has a "legal responsibility for the health and welfare of children within our borders, whether they are citizens or non-citizens" and has the authority to require the federal government to disclose information about migrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border and are now being held in New York. [TU]
+ There are said to be approximately 700 such children in the state, and on Thursday the governor, accompanied by a New York Times reporter, toured an undisclosed facility that's caring for some of the children. [NYT]

ICE in Saratoga Springs
With the return of the summer tourism season in Saratoga Springs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have again become active around the city -- a Skidmore professor say the agency is racial profiling people. [TU]

Kaloyeros trial
A former VP for LPCiminelli -- who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and is cooperating with the prosecution -- testified Thursday that the contractor had influence on the request-for-proposals process with a development arm of SUNY Poly so that company would be chosen for a contract. The exec also said Alain Kaloyeros had gone from being viewed skeptically by the Cuomo admin's inner circle to a "rock star" in part with the help of Todd Howe. [TU] [Biz Review]

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Legislative session ends with much undone, Emails evidence in Kaloyeros trial, Dow drops GE, layoffs at GlobalFoundries, emu still at large

Kaloyeros
Federal prosecutors presented dozens of emails as evidence in the bid rigging trial of Alain Kaloyeros and his codefendants. It was revealed through emails that Kaloyeros threatened to quit his job back in 2013 when he was having trouble negotiating his goal of splitting the NanoCollege off from UAlbany, and prosecutors suggest he hired Todd Howe to help him gain the trust of the Cuomo administration. One of the witnesses testifying in the trial, Jerry Barber, a former top assistant to Tom DiNapoli hired by Kaloyeros to work at Fuller Road Management Corp, testified in federal court this week that he was never pressured in his job to approve any particular developers for SUNY Poly project. [TU][TU][TU]

Legislative session
The legislative session wrapped up on Wednesday but sports gambling, transparency requirements, requirements for reporting bullying at charter schools, and other high profile issues were left on the table. Opponents of Andrew Cuomo are blaming him for focusing more on his own political battle than legislative issues, while others blame the lack of a majority. Some lawmakers are saying they are dissatisfied with the way the session wrapped up.
Legislators rallied on the Million Dollar Staircase on Wednesday to call for an end to the Trump policy of separating immigrant children from their families.
eep the call for action alive.[TU][TU][Politico][WNYT][Spectrum]


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New York to sue feds over family separation policy, prosecutors: private emails could be key to Kaloyeros case, Albany addresses recent violence, Capital Region unemployment drops, loose emu in Grafton

Cuomo says NY will challenge federal border policies separating families
Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that New York State will file a lawsuit over the federal border policies that have led to the "inhumane" separation of families and detention of children. [TU]

Kaloyeros
Federal prosecutors believe that private emails will prove Alain Kaloyeros and his co-defendants were part of a more than $850 million bid-rigging scheme. Prosecutors say Kaloyeros pushed for secrecy and private email to discuss alleged bid rigging for developers. [TU][TU]

Violence in Albany
After a spate of shootings and stabbings in the last several weeks, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Acting Police Chief Robert sears held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss plans to address the outbreak of violence, including a tip line and placing more officers in the city's highest crime areas. "There is not a single street in this city where it is acceptable for there to be gun violence," Sheehan said.[Spectrum][TU]

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Amazon potential tenant of huge Schodack warehouse project, Kaloyeros portrayed as villain and hero at trial, state report to recommend marijuana legalization

Huge proposed Schodack warehouse
+ An attorney representing the potential tenant of the 1 million-square-foot proposed warehouse in Schodack revealed at a public meeting Monday night that Amazon is looking at using the facility as a fulfillment center. (Larry Rulison had put the pieces together earlier in the day by noting the facility shared the exact same square footage as other Amazon projects.) [TU]
+ The project has continued to get pushback from its immediate neighbors -- said one woman at the meeting of the relatively low wages the facility will pay for many of its 800 jobs: "We're told these workers will infuse money into Schodack. These warehouse workers will not have the time or money to buy a burger in Schodack, let alone buy homes here." [WNYT] [Biz Review]

Kaloyeros trial
+ In its opening statement Monday the prosecution said it was a case "about lying and cheating to get huge construction contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, all paid for by the taxpayers of New York" -- and that it has emails to prove that Alain Kaloyeros rigged the bidding process for contracts. [TU]
+ The defense portrayed Kaloyeros as "a hero in Albany" and didn't violate the law. [Politico NY]
+ Monday also include testimony from Andrew Kennedy, a former Cuomo admin official who's now the head of the Capital Region's Center for Economic Growth -- he said the Cuomo admin had viewed Kaloyeros with skepticism, but the relationship improved after the nano emperor hired longtime Cuomo associate Todd Howe. [Biz Review]
+ The trial was a focus of the gubernatorial election challengers who pushed the pay-to-play accusations against the Cuomo admin. [Politico NY]

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Death in Lark Street stabbing case, Kaloyeros trial starting, Miner making independent run for governor, a tangled family tree

Death in Lark Street stabbing case
Albany police say one of the men stabbed during the incident near Lark Street and Madison Ave June 7 has died of his injuries. The death of 22-year-old Elijah Smith is the city's fifth homicide of the year. [APD press release] [TU]

Shootings in Albany
Albany police are investigating two shootings Saturday -- one on Clinton Ave in Sheridan Hollow/Arbor Hill, the other on Second Ave near Grandview Terrace. APD says it doesn't know of the shootings are connected. [TU] [Spectrum] [TU]

Kaloyeros trial
+ The federal trial of Alain Kaloyeros on bid-rigging allegations related to SUNY Poly projects is scheduled to start Monday. [TU]
+ Jimmy Vielkind: "Regardless of how the trial ends, it's certain to pose a larger question about Cuomo's efforts to revive the upstate economy: Did the big bets on high-tech projects, most of which were overseen by Kaloyeros, pay off?" [Politico NY]

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NY Attorney General files suit against Trump Foundation, attorney accused of stealing from clients, jobs at risk from automation, the former mayor as Uber driver

NY AG files suits against Donald Trump and Trump foundation
State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Thursday that her office is filing a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation -- and its director, which include the President and three of his children -- alleging "a pattern of persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade, that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump's personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations." The AG's office also referred the case to the IRS and Federal Election Commission noting possible violations of tax and campaign law. [NYS OAG]
+ The suit alleges the foundation was co-opted by the Trump presidential campaign, specifically highlighting coordination in Iowa ahead of the caucuses there. [Politico NY]
+ On Twitter Donald Trump called the lawsuit an act of "sleezy New York Democrats." [NYT]
+ The former head of the IRS nonprofit division to the Washington Post: The lawsuit is" "an extraordinary catalogue of how not to run a private foundation. There's little else [Trump] could have done that would have made it worse." [Washington Post]

Immigration
+ A group gathered outside the federal building in Albany Thursday to protest the Trump administration's policies related to separating children from immigrant families trying to enter the United States or requesting asylum at border crossings. It was one of multiple rallies around the country. [WNYT] [TU]
+ Local immigration attorneys say the decision by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse a policy that allowed immigrants to request asylum because of domestic or gang violence makes those immigrants even more vulnerable. [TU]

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Albany murder victim named, case tossed out again in Troy double murder, mother in Albany road rage case arrested for false statement, preliminary approval for SUNY tuition hike

Colonie road rage arrests
Police made two more arrests in an Colonie road rage case from last month, and one of the people arrested was the woman who claimed to be a victim. State Police say an investigation concluded that Natia Shim, the mother of the driver, who claimed she and her son were chased down by another vehicle and attacked physically and verbally, was not in the car when the confrontation occurred. Shim was charged with making a false statement to police. Four other arrests have been made in the case. This item has been corrected. [TU][Spectrum][Gazette][WNYT]

Case dismissed a second time in Troy murders
For the second time, a Rensselaer County judge has tossed out charges against two men who were charged with killing a pair of Troy roommates nearly two years ago, saying there was insufficient evidence to tie that crime to the men charged, and cited incorrect instructions given to the grand jury. The defendants will be held until the DA's office determines whether it will resubmit the cast to a new grand jury. [TU][Spectrum]

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Cuomo out front in Siena poll, APD investigating homicide, NXIVM's Raniere denied bail, back and forth continues of Albany bill for protest

Siena poll puts Cuomo ahead
The latest Siena poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 19-point lead over Republican Marc Molinaro and a 35 point lead over Cynthia Nixon. [Siena]

Albany homicide
A 25-year-old Albany man is dead following a shooting in the city's West Hill neighborhood on Tuesday. [TU]

NXIVM
A judge has denied bail to NXIVM founder Keith Raniere. Meanwhile NXIVM has announced it is suspending all operations and planned events in light of recent sex trafficking allegations. [Gazette][TU]

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Criminal indictment of Rensselaer County DA dismissed, forum for NY-21 Democratic candidates, new Albany DGS commissioner, kids vs. robot

Criminal indictment against Rensselaer County DA dismissed
An acting state Supreme Court justice has dismissed the state Attorney General office's criminal indictment against Rensselaer district attorney Joel Abelove over the DA's handling of the grand jury review of the fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin by Troy police, concluding the the state AG's office doesn't have jurisdiction to prosecute Abelove for perjury in the case. [TU]
+ On Monday Abelove maintained he's done nothing wrong and said the indictment had been "a political hit job." [Spectrum]
+ The state AG's office, in a statement: "Our indictment detailed a disturbing pattern of misconduct that violated the law and undermined a criminal investigation. We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and are determining how best to move this critical case forward." [WNYT]

Lawsuit against Schenectady police over fatal shooting
The wife of a man fatally shot by Schenectady police in 2016 has filed a lawsuit against the city and police department in federal court alleging her husband was walking away from detectives when he was shot, and was shot in the back of the head. Schenectady police said at the time of the incident that Joshua Scism had drawn a gun from his waistband and pointed it the detectives police -- and an attorney for the city told the Daily Gazette this week police acted appropriately. [Daily Gazette x2]

Former town justice pleads guilty
Former Guilderland town justice Richard Sherwood pleaded guilty to state and federal charges related to stealing $11.8 million from elderly estate-planning clients. [TU]

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Body found at Thacher State Park, Albany and Poor People's Campaign dispute over police bill, appreciating Central Ave

Body found at Thacher State Park
The Indian Ladder Trail re-opened at Thacher State Park this past weekend -- a hiker came across a body off the path. Officials say the items with the body point to it being a 71-year-old Guilderland man missing since February, and who was the subject of a search earlier this year. [TU] [News10]

Alain Kaloyeros
Surveying the legacy of Alain Kaloyeros and SUNY Poly as his trial is set to start this month. [TU]

Central Ave
Chris Churchill on Central Ave in Albany: "It is uniquely Albany. It is underappreciated." [TU]

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Police release details of fatal Erie Blvd/I-90 incident, arrest in Madison Ave stabbing, Troy trying to catch up on trash fee, darn good revenue growth

Erie Blvd/I-90 deaths
Albany police released additional details about the incident Sunday afternoon on Erie Blvd and I-90 in North Albany that left two people dead. APD says an investigation concluded that 22-year-old Larnell Kennedy shot 21-year-old Nahjayyah Daise, his former girlfriend, in the head as she drove them down Erie Street to Erie Boulevard, and he then fled up to I-90 where he was struck by a vehicle. Police say they're not sure why Kennedy shot Daise, or why he ran into the highway. Daise had been arrested in May for allegedly stabbing a man outside the OTB in Delmar. [APD ] [WNYT] [Spectrum] [TU x2]

Arrest in Madison Ave/Lark Street stabbing
Albany police say they've arrested a 25-year-old Albany man in connection with the stabbing of four men on Madison Ave near Lark Street around 1 am Thursday. APD says all the people involved knew each other and it looks like the incident was the result of an argument that erupted inside Lark Tavern. [APD] [TU] [News10]

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Albany mom charged after toddler ingests heroin, four men stabbed in Lark Street altercation, Maloney/Teachout kick off AG campaigns

Albany mom arrested after baby ingests heroin
An Albany mother is facing charges after her 1-year-old child ingested heroin while she was passed out on the drug and unable to care for the child. [TU][Spectrum]

Albany stabbings
Albany police say two people are under arrest after four men were stabbed in an altercation at the intersection of Madison and Lark streets overnight. [TU][Spectrum]

Days of our legislature
The Senate got back to work on Wednesday, but without Kathy Hochul presiding. The Lt. Governor was on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday in a failed effort to push through legislation in the politically tied Senate. A controversial women's health bill did not advance on Wednesday, and amendments that would codify Roe v. Wade into state law and guarantee that contraceptives are covered by insurance plans were voted down, but Democrats say they now have a record of Senate Republican votes on women's health issues. [TU][Politico]

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Legislative drama continues, NXIVM leader seeks bail, sheriff's sergeant convicted on child porn, Capital Region radio veteran Chris Martin dies

NXIVM leader seeking bail
Calling the Justice Department "morality police" NXIVM leader Keith Raniere's lawyers are seeking bail for their client.[TU]

Former deputy convicted in of child porn
A former Saratoga County sheriff's department sergeant was convicted on child pornography charges Tuesday after more than 1,000 images of child porn were found downloaded on his home computer. [Saratogian][TU]

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Piecing together fatal incident in Albany, standoff in Schenectady, tax breaks for Troy projects, cheese war, remembering RFK

Fatal incident near Erie Blvd in Albany
Albany police say they're working alongside State Police to figure out what happened Sunday during the incident -- or incidents -- near Erie Blvd and I-90 in North Albany that ended with two people dead. Acting Albany police chief Robert Sears says police found a gun on I-90 near the site of a crash. And police are waiting on autopsy results. [WNYT] [Spectrum] [TU]

Schenectady standoff
Schenectady police took a man into custody after a standoff at a home in the Vale neighborhood that lasted more than five hours and involved a police negotiator. Police say the man was taken to a hospital for evaluation, and they found weapons inside the home. [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum] [WNYT]

Health care
+ A look at the proposed increases in local premiums for health insurance on the individual market -- many insurers say the increases are prompted in part by the effects of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate. [TU]
+ The Poor People's Campaign again rallied in Albany Monday, focused on environmental health and people who don't have health care coverage. [TU]

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Two people dead following Erie Blvd/I-90 incident, perspectives on state's effort crack down on sexual harassment, shaking rocks loose

Two people dead after incident near Erie Blvd in Albany
Albany police say two people -- a woman and a man -- were dead following an incident in North Albany Sunday afternoon (map). APD says it was called to Erie Boulevard for an altercation where they found the woman, and then State Police were called for a man being hit on I-90 just above that spot. Police say the two deaths appear connected. [TU] [Spectrum] [WNYT]

New York State government and sexual harassment
+ Jimmy Vielkind: "While Cuomo advocated for and signed sexual harassment legislation, his opponents say he hasn't done enough to change Albany's patriarchal culture and hasn't been aggressive enough in cutting ties with known harassers." [Politico NY]
+ Vivian Wang: "[A]s the legislative session winds to a close, some lawmakers, activists and victims say Albany's expiation has been uneven, sparing some bad actors even as it has felled others. Some worry about a focus on appearances over substance. And attempts at reform have been shackled by the political calculations that accompany any effort to enact change in New York's famously byzantine Capitol." [NYT]

Marijuana legalization
Chris Churchill on what could or should happen in communities following marijuana legalization. [TU]

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Latest episode of state Senate soap opera, NY-19 Democratic debate, advertising plan for Central Warehouse, Tommy from Upstate New York

State Senate soap opera
+ Time is running out on the current state legislature session, but the things in the state Senate are seized up as the chamber is split 31-31 because a Republican member is off serving with the Navy reserves and Republicans have pulled the legislative agenda rather than open the possibility of lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul casting tie-breaking votes. [TU]
+ To what extent does Hochul have power to cast votes in a tied-up Senate -- good question, because apparently that's not totally clear. [Politico NY]

Gubernatorial election
+ Former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, has left the door open for running for governor as an independent. [TU]
+ Cynthia Nixon was on The Daily Show Thursday night -- she told Trevor Noah that Andrew Cuomo's record barely qualifies him as a Democrat. [TDS]

NY-19
The Democratic candidates running to challenge Republican John Faso for the NY-19 Congressional District were at The Linda Thursday for a debate/forum. And Donald Trump was a frequent topic. [WAMC] [Daily Freeman]

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Guilty verdict in death of infant, state official fired following harassment allegations, sign returned to Siena 50 years after prank

Guilty verdict in death of child
An Albany County jury found David Bridges of Troy guilty of manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend's 1-year-old boy. Bridges could face up to 25 years in prison for the abuse that led to the death of 1-year-old Luka Patrick. [WNYT][TU]

State official fired following complaints of sexual harassment
Jay Kiyonaga, the #2 official at the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, was fired on Wednesday, one day after a former lawyer for the state's Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special needs filed a discrimination complaint charging that the Cuomo administration covered up the fact that he had sexually harassed her -- the state Inspector General reported in a letter that Kiyonaga had a "history of improper and sexually inappropriate acts towards and comments to fellow staff members and subordinates" during his time as an official at the Justice Center. [TU] [NYT

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Legislative session nears close, police investigate Pine Hills robberies, deliberations begin in child murder trial, police dog bites car wash employee

Federal complaint filed against New York State over handling of official alleged to be a serial sexual harasser
An attorney who says she was sexually harassed by an official who's now the #2 at the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against New York State and the Justice Center, claiming the official was never held accountable for treating women as sexual objects. [TU]

Legislative session to-do list
The state legislative session comes to an end in a few days. Issues that could still be addressed in this session include medical marijuana, sports gambling and the Child Victims Act.[Spectrum][TU]

Paid sick time
Albany County Legislators heard from members of the public on Tuesday on a measure that would require employers in the county to offer paid sick time. [Spectrum]

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Investigation into how man's body was left undiscovered for a month at recovery center, remembering Kathina Thomas, the monument in Monument Square needs repairs

Investigation into recovery center death
The state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs is investigating how a man's body was left to sit in a room at a supportive living facility in Troy for 39 days. The man's family says the facility told them the man had packed up his belongings and left -- only for a pest control worker to find the man's decomposing body more than a month later still at the facility. [CBS6] [TU]

Kathina Thomas
Chris Churchill talks with the brother Kathina Thomas now that a decade has passed after the 10 year old was killed by a stray bullet in Albany's West Hill neighborhood. [TU]

School districts
+ New York State has the highest per-pupil school spending in the country, according to Census data, and Capital Region school district property tax report cards indicate that per-pupil spending at 36 district the region has grown an average of 23 percent since the 2012-2013 school year. [Daily Gazette]
+ Looking at the number of school days teachers in Capital Region school districts were absent, according to federal data -- more than a third missed at least 10 days in the 2015-2016 school year. [Daily Gazette]

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Cuomo easily defeats Nixon for Democratic convention nomination, government wants to seize NXIVM Halfmoon properties, final Saratoga gun show

Nixon loses convention vote
Andrew Cuomo had an easy victory over Cynthia Nixon at the state Democratic convention in Hempstead. Cuomo says he's taking his more than 95% victory as an affirmation of his accomplishments. (Nixon is still working to secure a spot on the primary ballot, which will ultimately decide who runs on the party's line in the November election.) Delegates also endorsed Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James got the nomination for state Attorney General. Former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout has confirmed that she will challenge James. [TU][NYT][Politico][TU]

Republican gubernatorial candidate
Republicans on Wednesday, formally named Marc Molinaro their candidate for Governor. [Spectrum]

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Underwood named Attorney General, Cohen associate pleads guilty in Albany, April unemployment up slightly from 2017, Albany Council bans conversion therapy

Attorney General Underwood
State lawmakers appointed Barbara Underwood as interim Attorney General on Tuesday. She is the first woman to hold the job. Underwood had been the state's solicitor general and became acting AG in the weeks after Eric Schneiderman's resignation following reports of domestic violence. Underwood will serve out the remainder of the year, and has decided not to run for the post in November. [Spectrum] [Politico] [NYT]

Cohen associate pleads guilty in Albany
An associate of Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Tuesday in Albany County Court. Evgeny "Gene" Friedman allegedly stole more than $5 million from New York State and evaded taxes. [NYT][TU]

Democratic convention
The NYS Democratic convention gets underway today, and Andrew Cuomo is expected to make a strong showing with support from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
[NYT]

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Troy police accused of using excessive force during arrest, women allegedly pointed gun at drive-thru workers, Clinton and Cuomo, the pull of history

Troy police accused of brutality
The attorney for a man arrested by Troy police in March alleges that officers inflicted a "savage beating" on his client during the arrest on Congress Street downtown, an allegation surfaced publicly by Luke Stoddard Nathan at The Alt. There is video of the incident, and the attorney played it for the Times Union -- Kenneth Crowe reports it "shows the officers kicking, kneeing and punching" the man after he was already on the ground. [The Alt] [TU]

Schenectady police handling of officer's DWI case
Sara Foss on the Schenectady Police Department's handling of a recent DWI case involving an officer: "We've been told time and again that the Schenectady Police Department's problems are in the past, that the department has turned over a new leaf, that recruits are held to a high standard and that officers who step out of line are held accountable. The Coppola case raises troubling questions that throw this narrative into question." [Daily Gazette]

Guns
Students and adults gathered in Albany's Washington Park Monday for a vigil for the people killed and injured at the school shooting in the Houston area last week. Said an 8th grader to the Times Union: "[Classmates are] afraid to go to school every day because we live with that fear of being shot in school." [WNYT] [TU]

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Emergency department wait times, new state health labs site recommendation, tip credit debate, Great Danes headed to final four

Emergency department wait times
Emergency department wait times in the Capital Region are higher than the state average, and Albany Med and St. Peter's have among the longest wait times, according to an analysis by the Daily Gazette of federal data. (There's some interesting discussion in the article about why wait times are what they are and the role of urgent care facilities.) [Daily Gazette]

Wadsworth labs
A consultancy has recommended a site near New Scotland Ave and the Axelrod Institute in Albany for the Department of Health's new $750 million Wadsworth Center labs. The report also highlights the Harriman State Office Campus and UAlbany's campus in East Greenbush as possibilities. [TU] [Biz Review]

Facts don't match the claims
Brendan Lyons followed up on some of the remarkable stories and career claims made by a top official at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse -- including surviving a bombing in Afghanistan -- and found the facts didn't seem to match the claims. The official has now been placed on leave. [TU x2]

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Mother says she feared for lives in reported Colonie road attack, pedestrian killed in Amtrak crash, Arch Park

Arrests in reported Colonie road attack
State Police say two people have been arrested in what the agency is calling "a reported road rage incident" May 10 on Alternate Route 7 and I-87 in Colonie. A woman tells WNYT that she and her teen son, who are black, were cut off by a truck with at least five people in it -- those people got out of the truck and started hitting the mother and son's car with bats while yelling racial slurs. Said the mother to the Times Union: "I thought they were going to kill us. They yelled, 'We're white supremacists. Go back to your country.' They used the N word." [NYSP] [WNYT] [TU]

Schenectady police discipline
+ The arrest this past weekend of an off-duty Schenectady Police Department officer for DWI involved a paperwork problem at the arraignment that a city court judge said prevented her from suspending the officer's license. [Daily Gazette]
+ The officer has not been immediately suspended because Schenectady is now operating under a state law that allows its public safety commissioner to handle police discipline, which officials say is a faster overall process. [Daily Gazette]

Fatal Amtrak crash with pedestrian in Castleton
Schodack police say a man was killed Thursday night when he was struck by Amtrak train while crossing the tracks near Main Street in Castleton. Officials the spot in a popular crossing point for pedestrians going to the river. [TU] [News10]

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Albany Council approves bond for Dontay Ivy settlement, convicted rapist admits murder plot, police probe Troy shooting, black bear sightings

Dontay Ivy settlement
The Albany Common Council approved a $625,000 bond on Wednesday to pay the wrongful death settlement in the death of Dontay Ivy. Common Council member and Dontay Ivy's cousin, Derek Johnson voted against the settlement and told the TU, "If it had been $16 or a $116 million, it still wouldn't have been enough because you can't replace a human life with a monetary value."[Spectrum][TU]

Murder plot
A 20-year-old convicted rapist admitted in Saratoga County court on Wednesday that he tried to win his freedom by hiring someone to murder a witness in the case. The person he tried to hire was an undercover police officer. [Gazette][Spectrum][TU]

Possible Troy shooting
Police in Troy are investigating reports of shots fired near 4th Street and Congress Avenue at around 11 pm on Wednesday. [WNYT]

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Capital Region school budgets pass, search for Schneiderman's replacement continues, RPI sues Amazon over Alexa technology, Erie Canal opens

Storms
Tuesday's storms downed trees in the Capital Region and left about 8,500 residents without power for a while. South of the Capital Region, in Newburgh, an 11-year old girl was killed by a falling tree. [Spectrum][TU][Spectrum]

School budgets
With the exception of Johnstown, all Capital Region school budgets passed on Tuesday. The Albany library budget was also approved by voters. [TU]

Replacing Schneiderman
Legislators began interviewing 12 candidates to replace Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday, including Acting state Attorney General Barbara Underwood Four Republican state senators have been added to the committee vetting the candidates. [TU][TU]

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Feds looking into health care company that's been a large donor to Cuomo campaign, Troy seawall repair, New York eyes sports betting, Poor People's Campaign protest

Today is school budget, school board, and library budget voting day. Don't know where to vote? Check with your school board's website.

Crystal Run investigation
"People with knowledge of the matter" tell the Times Union that federal prosecutors are investigating Crystal Run Healthcare, a Hudson Valley medical group that's received in more than $25 million in state grants and Chris Bragg reports that "at least some of the grand jury activity is apparently focused on the campaign donations to [Andrew] Cuomo." [TU]

Replacing Schneiderman
+ A state legislature screening committee will start interviewing candidates today to serve out the rest of Eric Schneiderman's current term as state attorney general. [TU]
+ "A person familiar with his thinking" tells Bloomberg that Preet Bharara is considering a run for AG in the fall as an independent. [Bloomberg]
+ Chris Churchill says Preet Bharara should be the next AG, "but an independent AG is not what the state's political leaders want, not by a long shot. " [TU]
+ Lead (lede) of the day, from Bill Mahoney: "Not long after she finished unifying England and Scotland, Queen Anne made a decision that would bedevil Gov. Andrew Cuomo more than three centuries later." [Politico NY]

Troy seawall
Chuck Schumer was in Troy Monday to announce that FEMA is putting up $14.2 million toward the reconstruction of the seawall along the Hudson River in downtown Troy. The city says the all-in cost of the project -- including design and construction -- is $24 million. The wall has been in need of repairs for years and its potential failure, during an event like a large flood, would also threaten a major sewer line. [Chuck Schumer office] [TU] [Troy Record]

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How the state handles sexual harassment complaints, homeless in Saratoga Springs, hiking Troy's emerald necklace

How the state handles sexual harassment complaints
Brendan Lyons looks at how the state has handled harassment complaints against a high-level agency executive at multiple stops in the bureaucracy, which a former affirmative action officer said points to a pattern of protecting appointees by moving them around. [TU]

Homeless in Saratoga Springs
Ann Friedman talks with a group of homeless people living in camps in Saratoga Springs about their daily lives and what they say is a lack of services in county services. [Daily Gazette]

Replacing Schneiderman
+ There are 16 people in the pool for consideration to finish out the term of former state attorney general Eric Schneiderman. [Politico NY]
+ Andrew Cuomo says he'll meet with candidates for the fall AG election and may endorse someone (or not). [TU]

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Political calculation and maneuvering on Scheiderman replacement, guilty verdicts in Schenectady murder for hire case, new Madison Theater operator aiming for summer opening

Replacing Schneiderman
+ A peek into the political calculation and maneuvering going on among New York State Democrats over who should replaced Eric Schneiderman. NYC Public Advocate Tish James has been at the center of the speculation, but Carl Heastie said Thursday there's no deal in place. [Politico NY x2]
+ One idea that's been in circulation is that acting AG Barbara Underwood could hold the job until the election of new AG this fall -- Andrew Cuomo stopped short of endorsing that option. [Politico NY]
+ Preet Bharara said on his podcast this week that he doesn't know if he'd want the job of AG, but that he's sure he doesn't want to be part of the state legislature's process of selecting AG for the rest of the current term. [TU]

Prosecuting Scheiderman
Andrew Cuomo has appointed Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as a special prosecutor to investigate the domestic violence and abuse allegations against Eric Schneiderman. Not publicly clear at the moment: Whether the women mentioned in the New Yorker article want to press charges. [TU] [Politico NY]

Schenectady murder for hire verdict
A Schenectady County jury returned guilty verdicts for the two men on trial for their connection to the 2016 contract killing of Charles Dembrosky in Schenectady. Joevany Luna was found guilty of first-degree murder and potentially faces life in prison, while Kyshaan Moore was found guilty of second-degree murder and potentially faces 25 years to life. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Effort to replace Schneiderman continues, Silver won't testify in retrial, two shootings in Albany, Schenectady County/GE to develop solar farms

Replacing Schneiderman
New York State lawmakers continue to search for a permanent replacement for Schneiderman.The state Assembly is expected to start interviewing candidates for the job next week. [TU][TU]

Schneiderman's temporary replacement
A profile of Eric Schneiderman's temporary replacement, Barbara Underwood.[NYT]

Preet for AG
Chris Churchill makes the case for former U.S. Attorney for New York's Southern District Preet Bharara to replace Eric Schneiderman as Attorney General. [TU]

Good riddance
Sarah Foss says "good riddance" to Schneiderman. [Gazette]

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Eric Schneiderman resigning after abuse allegations, Albany settlement with family of Dontay Ivy, visit from GlobalFoundries parent company, the Blenheim bridge

Eric Schneiderman resigns following allegations of abuse
+ Late Monday after the New Yorker posted an article alleging that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had engaged physical and psychological abuse of four women. Two of the women -- who had longterm relationships with Schneiderman -- talked to the magazine on the record, their accounts detailed and corroborated by others. [The New Yorker]
+ Three hours later -- with prominent state leaders such as Andrew Cuomo and Kirsten Gillibrand calling for his resignation -- Schneiderman announced will be resigning the post of AG by the end of business on Tuesday: "In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time." [NYT] [NYS OAG]
+ During his time as a state Senator and the AG, Schneiderman had introduced a bill to make intentional strangulation to the point of unconsciousness a violent felony, been hailed for work to protect women against domestic violence, and had spoken out against Harvey Weinstein. [NYT]

Replacing Schneiderman
+ "A source familiar with the transition process" tells the Times Union that New York's solicitor general -- Barbara Underwood -- will temporarily fill the state Attorney General role after Schneiderman's resignation. [TU]
+ The state legislature has the power to pick a new AG, who will serve through this November's election. Jimmy Vielkind, in a run-through of possibilities: "Albany is uniquely well-versed in filling the seats of disgraced politicians, and if past is prologue, senior, sitting legislators have a leg up in the appointments process." [Politico NY]

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Spotlight on code enforcement staffing and training, Quackenbush Center developer says project being reformulated, boldly going to Ticonderoga

Building and codes inspectors
Lauren Stanforth in a large Times Union review of local building and codes inspection operations: "Code enforcement offices in local governments throughout the Capital Region are beset with low-paid workers, inspectors who face conflicts of interest and weakened state oversight of training and certification." [TU]

Drug addiction
+ A profile of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program -- LEAD -- which aims to divert people with addiction and mental health issues away from the criminal justice system. The city of Albany was an early adopter of the program and former police chief Brendan Cox is now part of the national org. [TU]
+ Local law enforcement agencies say they've seen an uptick in the number of people driving under the influence of opiates -- or even passed out at the wheel. [Daily Gazette]

SUNY Poly
A former GlobalFoundries CEO (and RPI grad) has been picked by SUNY to head up SUNY Poly's research operations and economic development projects as part of a new org called NY CREATES. [TU]

Quackenbush Center
The developer of the proposed mixed-use project next to Quackenbush Square in downtown Albany says construction bids were much higher than expected, but the company is still committed and is reformulating the plan. [TU] [Biz Review]

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Gubernatorial campaigns jab each other over taxes and contributions, continued skepticism of Albany sewer facility plan, dressing for success

Gubernatorial election
+ Politico reports that "Cynthia Nixon has donated tens of thousands of dollars to several progressive groups that are now supporting her campaign for governor." [Politico NY]
+ Marc Molinaro released his tax return. Cynthia Nixon has yet to do so. [TU] [Politco NY]
+ Cynthia Nixon released a housing plan that includes a provision that would extend rent stabilization laws statewide. [Politico NY] [Nixon campaign]
+ Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Jumaane Williams laid out a plan to increase taxes and fees on things like stock transfers and large real estate transactions to raise $20 billion in new state revenue. [TU]

Lincoln Park sewer facility
The sewer facility proposed for a ravine in Albany's Lincoln Park continued to face skepticism at a public meeting Thursday evening. [TU] Earlier: The plan to fix a problem in Albany that's been a century in the making -- and the concerns about that fix

Albany school board election
There will be four candidates for three positions on the Albany school board for the May 15 election -- which will, oddly, involve two ballots. [TU]


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Officers arrested after AG investigation of village police department, Albany County sick leave proposal, next Siena coach

Police officers arrested
Four law enforcement officers -- three of them from the Galway Police Department -- were arrested Tuesday on charges they falsified documents filed with the state related to officer training. The state Attorney General's office has been investigating the village police department for all sorts of alleged misconduct, including the falsification of training credentials for officers who have ended up taking jobs at other police agencies around the region. The village has a tiny police force with a tiny budget and the mayor says its main purpose is to deter speeding. [NYS OAG] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sick days
There's a proposed Albany County law that would mandate paid sick time for the employees of private sector employers in the county. (Albany County exec Dan McCoy has supported this idea.) The Capital Region Chamber is opposing the legislation and sent out an email to members this week urging them to speak out against it. [TU] [Biz Review]

Siena coach search
A "source close to the situation" has been telling local media outlets that Jamion Christian will be the next Siena men's basketball coach. (Rodger Wyland has been saying this since last week.) He's currently the head coach at Mount Saint Mary's University in Maryland. Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey had also been a rumored candidate. [News10] [Spectrum] [@RodgerWyland] [TU]

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Report shows cause of Schenectady landslide, opening statements in Silver retrial, Saratoga Racecourse to get new building, Mets to honor late trooper

Schenectady landslide report
A report released to the Daily Gazette on Monday shows water from a broken water service line that leaked into a dirt basement floor of a Barney Street home caused the Schenectady landslide earlier this year. [Gazette]

Silver trial
Sheldon Silver's retrial got underway on Monday with prosecutors claiming the former Assembly speaker abused his power for personal gain by taking bribes, while the defense told the court "Everything that happened in this case was not only legal...it was designed to -- and did -- help people."[TU][NYT]

Hochul
Kathy Hochul called rumors that she'll be dropped from Andrew Cuomo's democratic ticket a "non-story," but Cuomo has publicly suggested that she run for Chris Collins' House seat. [Politico]

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Reducing barriers for opioid addiction treatment, scrutinizing school suspension disparities, Faso and food stamps, last shot for the Patroons?

Opioids
A look at the changing approach -- and barriers that still remain -- to offering immediate access to withdrawal medication for people suffering from opioid addiction, which could significantly reduce the number of overdoses. [TU]

Galway Police Department
Brendan Lyons reports that the state Attorney General's office has been investigating the Galway village police department for allegations of all sorts of misconduct. [TU]

Suspension disparities
Black students in many Capital Region schools districts are suspended at much higher rates than their white classmates, according to recently released federal data -- and parents say they're concerned their children have been treated differently. [Daily Gazette]

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What happens when state employees report workplace harassment, Troy hit-and-run, sorting through responsibility for Normans Kill landslide, restaurant barge sold

Harassment in state government
Vivian Wang on three recent cases of alleged harassment involving state employees and the lack of a single investigative body or agency to handle complaints of harassment brought by people working for New York State: "The cases show that bringing a complaint in New York State government can be a clunky, unpredictable process. What policies do exist are not always followed. And for all the sleek uniformity that officials have promised in recent weeks, none of the new policies fully address how, in practice, it will be achieved." [NYT]

Race for governor
Marc Molinaro says he's secured enough endorsements to claim the Republican nomination for governor. [Politico NY]

43rd state Senate District
After Kathy Marchione's surprise announcement that she won't be running re-election, the field of candidates for the 43rd state Senate District is just starting to assemble. (It includes parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer, and Columbia counties.) [TU]

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Marchione won't seek re-election, Cuomo urges Felder to rejoin Dems, donor reneges on Boyhaven purchase, WWII vet joins class of 2018

Marchione to retire
State Senator Kathy Marchione announced on Wednesday that she will not run for re-election. Marchione cited family reasons for stepping away from the Senate, but Democrats are buoyed by her decision to leave, combined with the results of this week's special election. [Spectrum][TU][Record][TU]

Cuomo/Felder
Andrew Cuomo reached out to Simcha Felder the Brooklyn Democratic Senator who has caucused with Republicans since getting elected, in an effort to gain Democratic control of the Senate. In a letter, Cuomo told Felder,"You have said that you act in the best interest of your constituents. For their benefit, now is the time that matters."[TU][NYT]


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Senate Dems retake seats, Felder stays with Republicans, GOP appears to hold Assembly majority, Bail set for Mack in NXIVM sex trafficking case, Exit 4 coming in 2019

Special election results

+Senate Democrats regained two vacant seats in Tuesday's special election, but the newly unified party still falls short of a majority because Simcha Felder -- a Bronx Democrat who has caucused with Republicans since his election, has decided to continue his affiliation with the GOP. [TU][NYT][NYT][TU]

+State Assembly seats up for grabs in Tuesdays special election appear to have remained in Republican hands. [TU]

NXIVM
Smallville actress Allison Mack was released by a federal judge in Brooklyn on $5 million bond in her NXIVM sex trafficking / forced labor case. [Spectrum][TU]

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Special elections today for local Assembly seats, holes in plastic bag ban, conviction in Troy stabbing death, touring the restaurant barge that's up for auction

Special elections
+ There are special elections today for the 102nd state Assembly District (which wraps around the southwestern part of the Capital Region) and the 107th state Assembly District (which includes most of Rensselaer County). Polls are open until 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections or your county board of elections site. [TU]
+ A look at some of the security measures in place for voting machines and other election processes. [TU]

Proposed plastic bag ban
+ Environmental orgs say the Cuomo admin's proposed plastic shopping bag ban doesn't go far enough. And its fate in the state legislature isn't clear, in part because of a key swing vote in the state Senate. [Daily Gazette] [NYT]
+ Cynthia Nixon was in Albany Monday for the climate march -- just about the same time the Cuomo admin announced the plan. Chris Churchill commented that the bag ban is an example of Cuomo's "great Cynthia Nixon freak-out." [Spectrum] [TU x]

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Police investigating Albany homicide, water leak alleged in Schenectady landslide, question Cuomo's claims, the queen of cookie sales

Albany homicide
Albany police say a 38-year-old man died after being shot multiple times near Clinton Street and Second Ave in the South End (map) Sunday afternoon. APD says it's investigating and asking anyone with info to call or provide an anonymous tip. It's Albany's second homicide of the year. [APD] [Spectrum] [TU]

NXIVM
Allison Mack -- the actress famous for her role on Smallville -- was indicted Friday along with NXIVM founder Keith Raniere on federal sex trafficking and forced labor charges. Federal prosecutors allege that Mack recruited women for what was described as a mentorship group but instead were sexually exploited. Mack had been previously listed as an unidentified co-conspirator. [US DOJ] [TU]

Schenectady landslide
In a notice of claim filed against the city of Schenectady, owners of a rental property on Nott Terrace allege that the city knew there was a water leak on the hillside above their property that was weakening hillside before the January landslide. The man was trapped in a residence by the landslide says he's been suffering from physical injuries and PTSD. [TU] [News10]

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Albany behind schedule on trash plan, Saratoga Code Blue shelter gets permit, Niskayuna Holocaust memorial postponed, tulip watching

Cities and trash
+ The city of Albany is apparently behind schedule on mapping out a plan for how to handle its trash after the city landfill closes at the end of 2022. [TU]
+ People in Troy continue to be upset about the $160 per-unit trash fee, and Madden administration officials say they'll have a new trash plan by this October. [TU]

Sararoga Code Blue shelter
The Saratoga Springs planning board granted Shelters of Saratoga a special use permit for the proposed new Code Blue shelter. An attorney for neighbors who oppose the project says there may be further legal challenges. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady City Council president workplace violence allegation
Schenectady City Council president Ed Kosiur said in a letter that he raised his voice and was impolite during an exchange with city employees, but he strongly disagrees that he violated the city's workplace violence policy. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Sentencing in Mechanicville driveway murder, Car crashes into Schenectady porch, Cuomo signs order to grant voting rights to parolees, more student gun protests planned

Teens sentenced in Mechanicville murder
The 17 year old and 20 year old who admitted to robbing and fatally shooting a Mechanicville man last summer, were sentenced to 18 years to life and 20 years to life respectively. At the sentencing, Judge James Murphy called Nikolai Mavashev diabolical for plotting the murder of 19-year-old David Feliciano. [Spectrum][Saratogian][TU]

Sentencing in death of teen
Nineteen-year-old Christopher Miranda was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for the death of 16-year-old Zachery Brown, struck and killed on a Saratoga County roadside last year, driving at speeds of up to 104 miles per hour. [News 10]

Car crashes into yards, home and hydrant
A car crashed into the porch of a Schenectady home on Albany Street early Thursday morning, hitting three yards, a fire hydrant and flipping an SUV in its path. The driver and two passengers were taken to the hospital for treatment. [Spectrum][TU][Gazette]


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Police gave protest video to RPI, IDC staffers face layoffs following unification, Cuomo releases tax return, Pulitzer winner has roots in Troy

Police taped RPI protest
Troy police officers hired by RPI videotaped a protest at the school last fall, and handed the tape over to institute officials, who used it to identify protest leaders. [TU]

IDC layoffs
IDC staffers are dealing with salary cuts and layoffs now that Senate Democrats have unified. [TU]

A middle class guy
Andrew Cuomo released his tax return on Tuesday, and declared himself a "middle class guy."[DN][Buffalo News]

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State Board of Elections scrutinizes Sheehan campaign, Schenectady officials say building inspection process improved, billboard presses Amedore over Child Victims Act

Sheehan campaign complaint
The state Board of Elections has filed a complaint alleging Kathy Sheehan's mayoral campaign took contributions from donors that exceeded limits, filed late reports, and violated a law that forbids political parties from holding raffles -- a campaign spokesman said the campaign has been working with the state BOE "to amend filings and ensure compliance." [TU]

Race for governor
+ Andrew Cuomo leads Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic primary 58-27 in the Siena poll out Tuesday. [SRI]
+ It sounds like the Cuomo campaign is trying to drop Kathy Hochul as lieutenant governor. [Buffalo News]
+ The leadership of the Conservative Party is lining up behind Republican Marc Molinaro, which could mean an exit from the race for John DeFrancisco. [TU]

Schenectady code enforcement
Schenectady city officials told a city council committee meeting that the city's buildings department is more quickly addressing code violation reports, emphasizing training, and working toward other improvements. The department has been the subject of significant criticism following the fatal Jay Street fire. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

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Albany Med nurses vote to unionize, Cynthia Nixon gets key endorsement, Siena basketball coach out, $2 a bowling pin

Albany Med nurse unionization
Albany Med nurses voted to unionize with the New York State Nurses Association 1,161-582. Nurses there say they're seeking a voice in staffing decisions as well as fair wages and benefits. [TU] [News10]

NXIVM
Federal prosecutors allege in a lettered filed in federal court that NXIVM founder Keith Raniere "has a decades' long history of abusing women and girls." [TU]

Race for governor
+ The Working Families Party endorsed Cynthia Nixon over the weekend. Ahead of the announcement when it became apparent he wasn't going to get the endorsement, Andrew Cuomo said he wouldn't be seeking it. The last two labor unions that were part of the Working Families Party also exited. (The endorsement also possibly has some implications for future ballot lines.) [Politico NY x2] [NYT] [Politico NY]
+ Chris Churchill on Nixon's recent comment -- in jest or not -- about upstate starting around Ithaca: "We shouldn't laugh, because downstate myopia has real-world consequences. When upstate is ruled, as it usually is, by downstate politicians with so little understanding of its needs, wants and culture, the region can only continue to suffer and dwindle." [TU]

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Cuomo continues call for study of marijuana legalization issues, Madison Theater sale complete, eating scorpions with Bear Grylls

Marijuana legalization
Andrew Cuomo on marijuana legalization: "It's not really 'legalize or not.' It's, 'do you not legalize when it is legal 10 miles from both sides of your border.'" (Cynthia Nixon called for legalization earlier this week.) [Politico NY] [NYT]

Schenectady police
Last year's Court of Appeals ruling that Schenectady's public safety commissioner can preside over police disciplinary hearings includes a provision that the trial portion of the process is open to the public -- though the three cases that come up since then have been resolved before reaching that point. [TU]

Former mayor pleads guilty
The former mayor of Stillwater -- Rick W. Nelson -- has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. He's facing 5-15 years in prison. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Roger Stone and James O'Keefe at Siena
Siena is hosting a student-organized free speech conference this weekend that will feature many conservative political figures and operatives, including Roger Stone and James O'Keefe. [TU]

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More than $500,000 seized in NXIVM raid, Schenectady man shot in head, Nixon focused on legalizing marijuana, Pastor sees Easter thefts as opportunity for forgiveness

NXIVM
More than half a million dollars in cash was seized from the home of NXIVM president Nancy Salzman during a federal raid last month, including $390,000 being held in a shoe box. NXIVM founder Keith Raniere is scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn this week on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. [TU][Spectrum]

Schenectady shooting
A man was shot in the head Wednesday night outside Schenectady's Saw Mill Tavern. [Gazette]

Suspicious device removed from Ballston Spa railroad track
State, local and federal authorities safely removed what appeared to be a pipe bomb from railroad tracks in Ballston Spa on Wednesday.[TU]

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NYS budget spokesman criticizes Albany funding, Raniere hires Albany attorney, hearing on controversial Holocaust memorial, sparkler ban upheld in Schenectady County

City of Albany officials were taken aback by a recent comment by the state budget division spokesman that the $12 million in additional aid the city has gotten from the state in recent years was "not fair to state taxpayers" because it had helped the city build its fund balance. (The city has been working with the state in recent years on its fiscal situation, submitting itself to a review by an outside firm at the state's request.) [TU]

Holocaust memorial
Niskayuna residents turned out Tuesday night to voice their opinions on a controversial Holocaust Memorial proposed for Route 7.[Gazette][TU]

Raniere attorney
NXIVM leader Keith Raniere has retained Paul DerOhannesian a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor from Albany to defend him against federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. [TU]

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Troy considering size of police force, Miner says she's still considering gubernatorial run, focus returns to Albany County Legislature grants, more Troy parking meters

Troy police
Troy mayor Patrick Madden says the city should get an independent expert to assess the size of the city's police force with an eye toward expanding the force in order to purse community policing. [TU]

NXIVM
The state Attorney General's Office has temporarily suspended its investigation of a non-profit associated with NXIVM because of federal criminal case investigation of the org. [TU]

Siena coach investigation
A "person who witnessed the incident but is not authorized by the school to comment" tells the Times Union that they saw Siena men's basketball coach push a player out a chair during a team review session, an incident Brendan Lyons reports is now a subject of the investigation of Patsos. [TU]

Race for governor
+ Former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner -- a Democratic and frequent Andrew Cuomo critic -- has a registered a state-level campaign committee and says she's seriously considering a run for governor. [Politico NY]
+ Andrew Cuomo's formal campaign organization appears to be getting a slow start. [Politico NY]

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Albany Med nurse unionization push, Greenfield woman shot in head, Siena coach plays defense on allegations, jobs now and in the future

Albany Med nurse unionization
A look at the heated situation surrounding the current unionization campaign among nurses at Albany Med. [TU]

Greenfield woman shot in head
The Saratoga County Sheriff's office says a Greenfield woman was shot in the head by her boyfriend during a domestic incident Saturday night, and was in critical condition. Neighbors said they heard yelling before the gunshot. The sheriff's office says the boyfriend has been charged with first-degree assault. [TU] [News10] [Saratogian]

Fatal industrial accident
Colonie police say a man working for a landscaping and excavation company died Saturday after he was pinned between by two pieces of equipment. [TU]

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Stefanik faces tough questioning from crowd, investigation of Siena coach widening, Albany County Legislature leadership shuffle, Stewart's (on paper) millionaires

Elise Stefanik faces questioning from public
At a "Coffee With Your Congresswoman" event Thursday in Moreau, Elise Stefanik said federal EPA head Scott Pruitt should resign, and she tried to separate herself from Donald Trump on multiple issues. The capacity crowd of 200 people had a series of pointed questions for Stefanik, and some of her answers prompted derisive laughter and boos. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [NY Now]

Schenectady County jail employee resignations following raid
State Police say a former Schenectady County jail guard was arrested last week as part of a drug investigation, which prompted an internal investigation by the Schenectady County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Dominic Dagostino says four jail employees have resigned as a result. [Daily Gazette]

Troy police drug unit closed
New Troy police chief Brian Owens has closed the department drug unit that had included members now facing charges related to an alleged coverup of a warrantless search, and says he's focusing the department on community policing. [TU]

NXIVM
Brendan Lyons walks through the allegations connected to a Halfmoon townhouse raided by the FBI last week was allegedly used for sexual encounters with the NXIVM's leader and where the feds allege a woman became a victim of sex trafficking and forced labor. [TU]

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IDC reunites with Senate Dems, Nixon blasts Cuomo on PFOA contamination, marches commemorate King anniversary

IDC
The Independent Democratic Conference has agreed to dissolve and reunite with the Democratic party.
Andrew Cuomo said the move would put Andrea Stewart-Cousins on track to be the first woman to lead a Senate majority conference, but Dems still have to pick up two Senate seats in special elections later this month for that to happen. [NYT][TU]

Nixon in Hoosick Falls
Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon was in Hoosick Falls on Wednesday, where she met with residents and criticized the Cuomo administration's handling of the PFOA pollution situation. [Spectrum][TU]

Man killed on train tracks
Police in Colonie say a man was killed by an Amtrak passenger train after he appeared to purposely step out in front of the train. [TU]

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Grand jury report critical of code enforcement in Jay Street fire, Molinaro officially declares run for governor, Greene County fire kills five people, pushback on plan for huge distribution center

Jay Street fire
A Schenectady County grand jury review of the situation surrounding the 2015 Jay Street fatal fire concludes that "the numerous failures of the Schenectady Bureau of Code Enforcement office ... directly contributed to the deaths and injuries which occurred." Mayor Gary McCarthy: "We're going to take it and study it and look to build on some of the changes we have already made." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Race for governor
+ Dutchess County exec Marc Molinaro formally announced in Tivoli that he's running for governor. He criticized Andrew Cuomo for "an administration focused inward, not on the people, but on self-preservation, political survival and presidential ambitions." Also: "We will change the way we do business in this very city to include more stakeholders and more citizens and finally end four men in a room." [TU] [NYT] [News10]
+ Molinaro said he didn't vote for Donald Trump. [New York Now]
+ Molinaro first faces a Republican primary and state Senator John DeFrancisco, but he already has the support of the majority of the party's state committee. [Politico NY]

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Sizing up the new state budget, feds continuing NXIVM investigation, not lamenting the Amazon bid loss, coming out when you're a pro wrestler

State budget
+ The governor and legislative leaders reached a deal on the $168 billion million state budget early Saturday morning via the New York-typical closed-door process. [TU]
+ The budget includes a $995 million increase in school funding. [Politico NY]
+ Also in the budget: $12 million of the $12.5 million in funding the city of Albany had been seeking for its budget. Kathy Sheehan is continuing to push for the $12.5 million to be made permanent. [News10] [WNYT]
+ An overview of a bunch of items tucked into the budget, including provisions for menstrual supplies in schools and baby changing stations in renovated buildings. [TU]
+ Folded into the budget process: new rules related to sexual harassment in the workplace -- but critics say they don't go far enough. [NYT] [Politico NY]
+ Also passed concurrently with the budget: stricter gun control rules for domestic violence situations. [TU]
+ One of the frames for this budget was an effort on the part of the Cuomo admin to circumvent some of the aspects of the federal tax overhaul that caps state and local tax deductions. Experts say it's unclear the workarounds will work. [NYT x2]
+ Among the issues not addressed during the budget rush: the Child Victims Act. [TU]

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Rush to finish state budget, allegations of bullying around Albany Med nurse unionization, sheriff proposes that deputies train pistol permit applicants, Church of Holy Innocents status

State budget
As of Friday morning there was still no overall deal on a state budget as leaders try to get things nailed down before the start of the religious holidays and the start of the new fiscal year. Though the state legislature continued the tradition of passing bills in the middle of the night. A look at a few of the sticking points, which sometimes come down to individual members. [Democrat & Chronicle] [State of Politics] [Politico NY]

Nurse unionization at Albany Med
The Cuomo admin announced Thursday that the state Department of Labor will be investigating alleged "threatening and coercive behavior" at Albany Med being used against the campaign to unionized nurses there. Albany Med, in a statement to the Times Union, countered that it has "received numerous reports of our nurses who intend to vote no being subjected to intimidation and bullying by union supporters." [Cuomo admin] [TU]

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Budget voting expected today, controversial items could be left out of spending plan, reporter arrested at Capitol, voter registration rising for area teens

Budget
State lawmakers are optimistic that budget voting could begin today, allowing them to approve the spending plan before the April 1 deadline and before the Passover/Easter session break. But several controversial policy issues may be left off the negotiating table, including early voting, tuition aid for undocumented immigrants, and a law that would make it easer for victims of child abuse to sue abusers. [WNYT][TU]

Effort to unseat IDC members
An effort is underway focused on unseating members of the Independent Democratic Conference.[NYT]

Cuomo on bailing out casino
In response to questions abou the struggling Del Lago casino, which is having trouble competing with the Seneca Indian Nation casinos, Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he has no interest in bailing out private businesses. [TU]

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FBI raids NXIVM buildings, budget deadline looms, Rivers asks to renegotiate, Capital Region unemployment rise

NXIVM
NXIVM co-founder Keith Raniere will remain in federal custody until he is returned to New York to face federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. The FBI raided the home of NXIVM President Nancy Salzman in Halfmoon on Tuesday. [TU][TU]

Budget
Legislators are scrambling to finish up the budget early so they can get home for Passover and Good Friday, and it appears a number of issues may be left out of the plan, including taxes, immigration policy, sexual harassment and the Child Victim's Act. The Assembly appears to have secured $9.8 million in the budget for an allotment to the city of Albany, but Mayor Kathy Sheehan says without the full $12.5 million, city services will have to be cut. [TU][TU]

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NXIVM founder arrested, Nixon calls Cuomo a bully, crime numbers trending downward, cash still accounts for many CDTA fares

NXIVM founder arrested
The Department of Justice announced that Keith Raniere -- the founder of Nxivm, the secretive org based in Colonie -- is facing charges for alleged sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York says Raniere was arrested in Mexico Sunday and deported to the United States where he's scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Fort Worth. The feds allege that Raniere was part of an effort to form a secret slave-master sex club within NXIVM. The group is alleged to have branded women with a cauterizing device and required them to submit compromising material about themselves. [US DOJ] [TU x2] [NYT]

Race for governor
+ Cynthia Nixon appeared at an Alliance for Quality Education press conference about school funding in Albany Monday and went after Andrew Cuomo, calling him a bully and accusing of him acting like "a progressive Democrat leading the resistance" while handing over power to Republicans. She also the criticized what she described as the "the old boys' club" arrangement in state government. [TU] [Politico NY] [Spectrum] [NYT]
+ Chris Churchill on Nixon and Cuomo: "She's punching the bully in the nose." [TU]
+ A look at the behind-the-scenes efforts by the Cuomo and Nixon campaigns to win support from influential African-American figures around New York City. [NYT]

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Considering the causes of threats made against schools, two shootings in Albany, crunch time for state budget, sharp downturn in number of refugees to Albany

Gun violence
+ There have been more than a dozen threats made against Capital Region schools since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida -- none of the reported threats have been deemed credible by officials, though charges have been filed in multiple cases, including the recent threat at Shenendehowa High School East. So drives these threats? [TU] [Daily Gazette x2]
+ Thousands gathered in Albany Saturday for the local March for Our Lives event. [AOA]
+ Following along with local students at the march in Washington, DC. [Daily Gazette]
+ Albany police are investigating a shooting on Clinton Ave near Swinburne Park early Sunday morning. APD said a man was shot in the leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries. [APD]
+ Albany police are investigating a shooting inside a room at the Motel 6 on Watervliet Ave overnight Sunday to Monday. APD said a man was shot in the leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries. It described the situation as "an isolated incident that occurred inside of a single room at the motel in which the victim and suspects were known to each other." APD says "a suspect believed to be involved" was arrested. [APD]

Rensselaer landfill
The commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the agency is investigating the Dunn C&D Landfill in Rensselaer -- which takes construction debris, and has been taking in more tonnage that the Albany and Colonie landfills combined. [TU]

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Arrest in Schenectady school crash, Gipson withdraws gubernatorial bid, Capital Region population grows while upstate shrinks

Charges in Schenectady school crash
A Schenectady man is facing charges for driving through a window into a classroom at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in the early morning hours on Wednesday. [Spectrum]

School threats
+An 18-year-old Colonie High School Student has been charged with making the weapons threat that caused an increased police presence at the school on Wednesday. The teen is charged with making a terroristic threat, which carries a maximum penalty of 2 to 7 years in prison. [TU]

+Police in Galway arrested a 13-year-old student in the central school district for allegedly threatening, in two social media posts, to shoot at the school. [TU]

Capital Region population growth up while upstate population declines
According to new census data, the Capital Region added nearly 17,000 residents since 2010, making it the only Upstate New York region to show population growth in that time period. [TU]

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Car slams into Schenectady school, Nixon debuts gubernatorial campaign, judge won't toss charges against Silver, federal cuts could affect CDTA plan

School threats
+Police will be stationed at Colonie Central High School today following a threatening comment made by a student on a school bus on Tuesday. A letter to parents from the principal says that the threat was not credible but the district was still taking it seriously. [WNYT][TU]

+A 13-year-old Shenendahowa student has been charge with falsely reporting an incident after making a threatening Instagram post.[WNYT][TU]

+Cohoes High School went into lockdown on Tuesday after a student called in a shooting threat that turned out to be false. [TU]

Car slams into school
Schenectady's Martin Luther King Elementary School is closed today, after a car drove through a window and into a classroom overnight. [Spectrum][Gazette]

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Shaping up the race for governor, Cuomo admin response to allegations of unaddressed misconduct at state agency, threat prompts students to stay home

Race for governor
+ The Cuomo campaign's response to Cynthia Nixon entering the race for the Democratic nomination: "Governor Cuomo has delivered more real progressive wins than any other Democrat in the country, including passing marriage equality, the strongest gun safety law in the nation, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition, paid family leave, record setting funding for public education, expanding and protecting healthcare for our most vulnerable, and banning fracking." [State of Politics]
+ An overview of the politics of the Cuomo-Nixon matchup. [Politico NY]
+ Republicans seemed pretty happy about Nixon getting into the race. [Politico NY]

Niko DiNovo
Niko DiNovo -- the Colonie teen badly burned in the Blessings Tavern car crash in 2016 -- died Monday from injuries from the crash. [TU]

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Allegations of harassment at state agency, Rensselaer community turns out to support families, the Skyway and cynicism, Orange madness

Abuse allegations at state agency
Brendon Lyons reports that a(n unreleased) state Inspector General's investigation found that a top official at the state Division of Criminal Justice Services threatened female employees and engaged in years of sexual harassment, racism, and ageism -- but the official was not disciplined and two women who testified as part of the investigation were punished. [TU]

Cole crash trial
From Friday: A Saratoga County court jury found John W. Cole guilty of felony assault, driving while ability impaired, and reckless driving -- and acquitted him of two other charges -- for the March 2017 crash in Halfmoon that left one of his passengers a quadriplegic. He faces two to seven years at sentencing. Scott Shapiro -- the husband of Deanna Shapiro, was seriously injured: "There are clearly no winners here, the impact on both my family and John's family cannot be understated." [Daily Gazette] [TU x2]

Rensselaer fatal fire
+ Rensselaer police say the cause of the Mann Ave. house fire that killed members of a family appears to have an electrical problem that was accidental. [News10]
+ There was an all-day community fundraiser in Rensselaer Sunday to benefit the Mann Ave family as well as the children of a Rensselaer woman who was recently found dead in the Hudson. [TU]

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Sheriff: Plot against judge was made up, Cuomo questions school walkout discipline, name change for Troy's Riverfront Park

Sheriff: Plot against judge was made up
Albany County sheriff Craig Apple says it's been determined that the reported plot against state Supreme Court justice Thomas Breslin was made up by a county jail inmate in an effort to get a deal. [TU]

School walkouts
+ Andrew Cuomo issued a public letter requesting that state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to look into reports that students around the state were disciplined for participating in walkout events this week to protest gun violence, including an alleged case in which a school blocked exits (an apparent reference to report about Schuylverville). [Cuomo admin] [TU]
+ In her own return public letter, Elia said NYSED will "investigate any reports where the safety of students was put in jeopardy, as we always do." [NYSED]
+ Talking with local students who face discipline for walkout events -- and the school officials who disciplined them. [Daily Gazette]

National Gride rate increase
The state Public Service Commission has approved a rate change for National Grid that will increase the average monthly bill for electricity and gas by about $16 over the next three years. [TU]

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Capital Region students protest gun violence, guilty plea in Cohoes Fire, fatal crash on Cohoes-Waterford Bridge, Blenheim-Gilboa to get millions from NYPA

Guilty plea in Cohoes fire
John Gomes pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson for starting the burn barrel fire that got out of control in November destroying a damaging numerous buildings in Downtown Cohoes. The blaze displaced 20 people and caused at least $4 million in damage. [TU][Spectrum]

Fatal crash on Cohoes Waterford Bridge
Police continue to investigate a fatal car crash that closed down the Cohoes-Waterford Bridget this morning. [News 10]

The Percoco trial and the Cuomo administration
The Percoco trial raised a number of ethics and transparency questions about the Cuomo administration. Andrew Cuomo says the suggestions he knew about Joe Percoco's actions are "political garbage." [TU][Politico]

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Guilty verdict for Percoco, Coeymans police respond to outrage over raccoon incident, Stefanik and the House intelligence committee, leaving and holding a state job

Percoco trial verdict
+ The jury in the federal corruption case involving former top Cuomo admin official Joe Percoco found Percoco guilty on three charges for soliciting and accepting bribes from two companies in exchange for influence on business connected to state government. [US DOJ] [NYT]
+ An executive with the Syracuse-area company Cor Development was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. [Syracuse.com]
+ Andrew Cuomo called the verdict "personally painful" because of his longtime close relationship with Percoco, "however, we must learn from what happened and put additional safeguards in place to secure the public trust. Anything less is unacceptable." Cue speculation about to the degree to which the conviction hurts Cuomo's re-election campaign. [TU] [NYT]
+ State Senator -- and a Republican gubernatorial candidate -- John DeFrancisco: "With or without the conviction, this is a pretty good indication that we need a change at the top." [State of Politics]

Coeymans raccoon
+ From a Coeymans Police Department statement on the incident in which officers ran down a rabid raccoon in a shopping plaza parking lot: "We understand that this is not easy to watch, however The Town of Coeymans Police Department, and the Officers involved acted without malice or contempt, and without another remedy acted only with the Publics wellbeing in mind. Based on the above it was the safest way to remove the immediate hazard, given the circumstances presented." [CPD Facebook]
+ The state Department of Health says tests indicate the raccoon was rabid. [TU]
+ Mohawk Hudson Humane Society president Todd Cramer said he was "instantly sickened and appalled" by the video and said there were other options police could have used. The acting CPD chief said the department will work to develop different procedures for similar situations in the future. [Spectrum] [WNYT]

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Oquendo sentenced, Judge orders PR campaign to shut down in DWI trial, Percoco jury still deadlocked, probe of police raccoon killing

Oquendo sentencing
A State Supreme Court justice sentenced Johnny Oquendo to 27 years to life in prison for the murder of his stepdaughter Noel Alkaramla. Oquendo, who represented himself at the sentencing, maintained his innocence in a statement to the court. [TU][Spectrum][WNYT]

Judge orders PR campaign to be shut down in DWI case
The Saratoga County judge in the DWI case agains businessman John Cole of Cole's Collision has ordered a stop to a public relations plan featuring ads where charity leaders highlight Cole's philanthropy.[TU][Gazette]

Percoco jury deadlocked
The jury in the corruption trial of Joe Percoco has again told a judge that it is deadlocked, but the judge in the case wants them to continue trying to reach a verdict.[NYT]

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Rensselaer house fire kills three members of family, legal fight over video from police body cameras, criticism of PR campaign ahead of trial

Fatal fire in Rensselaer
Three members of a Rensselaer family -- a child, mother, and grandmother -- died in a house fire early Sunday morning. Two other children suffered injuries, one of them serious. Officials say it's not clear yet what caused the fire -- it gutted the entire home -- and it's under investigation. More than a hundred people gathered outside the house on Sunday for a vigil. [TU] [News10] [Troy Record] [TU]

Guns
+ The Saratoga Springs City Council has voted to ban gun sales at the Saratoga Springs City Center -- it looks like the recurring gun show scheduled for the venue in May will be the last there. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ Talking with Capital Region high school students about gun violence and walkouts planned for this Wednesday. [Daily Gazette]

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Oquendo sentencing delayed again, Albany Capital Center funding questioned, shoveling out the neighborhood, windfall in CommerceHub sale

Oquendo sentencing delayed
Johnny Oquendo's sentencing for the death of Noel Alkaramla in Troy was postponed again -- to next Monday -- after the judge ruled the new sentencing report hadn't been made available with enough time ahead of the sentencing. The judge also ruled that Oquendo can now represent himself (with his most recent attorney on standby). [TU] [News10] [Troy Record]

Percoco trial
The jury in the Joe Percoco case is still deliberating, apparently to the chagrin of almost everyone involved. [TU]

Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office / ICE
The NYCLU is criticizing the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office's participation in a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement program in which Sheriff Patrick Russo says two corrections officers will be trained to check on immigration holds on prisoners in the county jail. [TU]

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Snowstorm leaves thousands without power, Schenectady police officer demoted for alleged violence, Cuomo makes light of potential Nixon challenge, Stefanik challenger drops out

Snow
An estimated 7,000 Capital Region residents are without power after Wednesday's snowstorm. Twenty-eight flights were canceled at Albany International Airport. Amtrak will continue operating on a modified schedule on Thursday due to the storm.[Gazette][TU][TU]

Jay street fire
A survivor of the Jay Street fire comes to terms with the verdict in the David Tyree case, and with his own suffering.[Gazette]

Schumer's infrastructure plan
Chuck Schumer's proposal to improve infrastructure and create jobs by eliminating tax breaks from the nation's wealthiest individuals and corporations. [TU]

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Tyree acquitted in Jay Street fire case, Percoco Jury deadlocked, more snow causing closings and cancellations, a lobster of a different color

Snow
New York State has issued a travel advisory and many schools are closed and events canceled due to winter storm Quinn. [Spectrum]

Tyree acquitted
A jury acquitted former Schenectady code enforcement officer Kenneth Tyree of four counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in connection with the fatal 2015 Jay Street fire. Tyree was found guilty on one count of offering a false instrument for filing for lying about past felonies on his job application to become a building inspector, and could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. [TU][Gazette]

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Closing arguments in Jay St fire inspection trial, Washington Ave Armory suing Migos, CommerceHub acquired in billion dollar deal, pushback on Troy church conversion

Jay Street fire inspection trial
The trial of former Schenectady inspector Kenneth Tyree had closing arguments Monday. The prosecution argued Tyree didn't put in the necessary effort to do his job correctly and, if he had, the four deaths in the fire could have been prevented. The defense said that Tyree told his supervisor what he saw and argued Tyree is being scapegoated for the fire. [Spectrum] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Guns
The state Senate passed a group of bills Monday backers said would increase safety for schools from gun violence -- including allowing retired police officers to earn more as school resource officers without a waiver, requiring schools to hold two active shooter drills a year, and Jim Tedisco's vanity license plate for funding armed guards in schools. None of the bills deals directly with gun laws, which prompted sharp criticism from Democrats in the chamber. And Tedisco's bill in particular was mocked. [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Washington Ave Armory suing Migos
The company that owns the Washington Ave Armory is suing Migos, alleging the hip hop group's actions encouraged and incited the brawling at their 2015 concert there. (The incident led to the venue being hit with a nuisance abatement order and it ended up surrendering its liquor license.) And a person who says he was seriously injured at the concert has also filed a suit against Migos and the Armory. [The Alt] [TU]

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Troopers and tow truck operator injured in I-90 crash, new Republican in the pool for governor, Flag Day Parade ends

Troopers and tow truck operator injured in I-90 crash
+ State Police say three people -- two of them state troopers -- were seriously injured in a crash on I-90 in North Greenbush early Sunday morning. NYSP say two troopers had responded to a call for single-vehicle crash in the median. A two truck arrived with two operators. And then, with the scene marked off flares, State Police say another driver failed to move over, hit the patrol car, then hit both troopers and one of the tow truck operators -- all three suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized. The second tow operator and the driver of the second vehicle also suffered injuries. The second driver is facing DWI and "numerous others" traffic charges. [NYSP]
+ Said the other tow truck operator to News10 of the crash: "It was just terrible. It was like a hurricane coming through." [News10]
+ State Police Major Robert Patnaude on the setup of the scene before the second crash: "It was lit up like a Christmas tree. There's no reason why he shouldn't have seen it." [WNYT]
+ Patnaude remarking on both crashes, the first of which State Police say was the result of a driver distracted by a phone: "You're driving a 3,000-pound vehicle that is a dangerous weapon and people take it too lightly." [TU]

Schenectady police excessive force case
According to a Schenectady Police Department internal affairs reports, an SPD lieutenant who had been up for the job of police chief had shown photos of a woman whose head had been busted open when officers slammed her head into a bench and told other members of the force "this is what happens when someone hits one of my men" -- the report concluded that the officers hadn't followed training and the use of force was excessive. (The report surfaced in a federal court filing as part of a lawsuit filed by the woman.) [TU]

Guns
+ The former Columbia High School student who brought a shotgun to school in 2014 2004 -- and was tackled by the then-principal -- wrote a letter to the Times Union following Chris Churchill's recent column looking back at the incident hailing the principal as a hero, expressing regret for the pain he's caused, and praising the Parkland high school students for their advocacy. [TU]
+ Talking with local high school students about their plans to join nationwide walk-out events to protest gun violence. [TU]

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It's snowing, Tyree cross examined in Jay Street fire inspection trial, Troy taking on trash problem, Albany Med buys two buildings in Albany

Snow
Things changed -- as the forecast probabilities suggested they might -- and we're getting a lot of snow. The NWS forecast as of 9 am is projecting an expected snowfall of 14 inches in Albany, with higher totals to the west. There are, of course, many cancellations and delays. Check before heading out. Even better, don't head out if you don't have to. And take it slowly with the shoveling -- it's wet and heavy snow. [NWS Albany]

Trial related to Jay St fire
The prosecution cross examined former Schenectady housing inspector Kenneth Tyree Thursday about his inspection of 104 Jay Street -- Tyree said he didn't have experience with alarm systems and was told to look but not touch the building's alarm system. At one point during the questioning, when the prosecution mentioned the victims of the fire, Tyree started sobbing. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Guilty verdict for man shot by Schenectady police
The man shot by Schenectady police last year -- an incident shown on Facebook Live by a bystander -- was found guilty on charges connected to the case, including criminal possession of a weapon. The weapon was a loaded sawed-off shotgun that police say the man threw to the porch of a nearby home, and prosecutors say his DNA was on the gun handle -- SPD has not said what the object was that the man was accused of pointing at police. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Local judge guarded after death threats, gun control stalls in NYS Senate, Tyree takes stand in Jay Street fire trial, Cohoes & RPI team up on smart mural

Prominent judge receives death threats
Death threats received by State Supreme Court judge Thomas Breslin have been deemed credible and police are guarding his home while an investigation is underway. [TU]

Gun control measures stalled in Senate
The Republican controlled NYS Senate refused on Wednesday to take up gun control measures proposed by Senate Democrats. [NYT][TU]

Cuomo on gun control
Andrew Cuomo is blaming members of his own party in Congress for failing to advance tough gun control measures. [Politico]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Hoosick Falls accepts PFOA payment, former priest convicted of abuse found dead in jail, gun control debate heats up in NYS legislature

PFOA payment
The Hoosick Falls Village Board voted on Tuesday to accept a $330,251 payment from Saint-Gobain and Honeywell to cover some of the costs from PFOA contamination of the village water supply. The resolution is not a settlement and won't release the companies from future reimbursement costs and damages. [WNYT][TU]

Former priest and abuser found dead in jail
A former Long Island Catholic priest who was arrested for child sexual abuse last year at a Washington County retreat, was found dead on Tuesday in a Saratoga County jail cell. The Sheriff's office says the death is believed to be a suicide. Michael Hands was slated to be sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty in January to two felony counts of sexually abusing a child. [TU][Saratogian][Post Star]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Focus on training in Jay Street fire trial, Supreme Court unions case of particular interest in New York, concern about potential Albany middle school plan

Trial related to Jay St fire
During cross examination Monday, the attorney for defendant Kenneth Tyree worked to portray for the former Schenectady inspector as poorly trained and cast doubt on some of the claims made by his supervisor. Tyree's inspector testified that he told Tyree to call him if he ran into any issues or anything he didn't understand while inspecting 104 Jay St. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Percoco trial
The defense in the Joe Percoco trial rested Monday after just a handful witnesses -- and without Percoco testifying. [NYT]

Supreme Court unions case
The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments Monday in Janus v AFSCME, which could affect public sector unions ability to collect fees from employees who don't belong to the union but are still represented by it. The case is of particular interest in New York State, which has more than 1 million unionized public employees across the various levels of government. How much the case could affect the power of unions in New York is a matter of debate. [NYT] [TU] [Politico NY]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Incorrect report prompts scare at Colonie Center, Cuomo campaign collecting contributions from appointees, judge accused of stealing millions, the Power Breakfast Club

Scare at Colonie Center
An incident in the food court at Colonie Center late Sunday afternoon prompted word to circulate -- incorrectly -- in the mall that shots had been fired, leading people to take shelter or flee. Colonie police say there was no gun and no shots were fired during an argument between a customer and a clerk -- the man is alleged to have said he had a gun, apparently loud slaps on the kiosk had been interpreted as gunshots. CPD says the customer was arrested on charges that include criminal nuisance. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Guns
+ Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo says he's already been approached by three school districts about placing an armed officer in schools. [Saratogian]
+ Jim Tedisco is proposing a "Guardians For Schools" custom license plate to help fund armed officers and other security measures in schools. [TU]
+ Saratoga Springs mayor Meg Kelly says she's been talking with a church about conducting a gun buyback. [Daily Gazette]

Cuomo campaign cash
The New York Times reports that the Cuomo admin has "quietly reinterpreted" an executive order that bars most state appointees from donating to, or soliciting donations for, the campaign fund of the governor who made the appointment -- to the tune of $890k in contributions. [NYT]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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New York part of new state coalition on guns, Mohawk ice jams breaking up, prosecution rests in Percoco trial, push for geothermal in ESP microgrid

Guns
+ The governors of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island say their states are forming a coalition -- States for Gun Safety -- to create a database to supplement the federal background check system, and along with sharing info related to gun law enforcement. [TU] [Politico]
+ Vermont's Republican governor and Democrats in its legislature said Thursday they're in favor of more stringent gun control laws in the state, which one legislator described as a "sea change." (The NYS Attorney General's Office reported in 2016 that Vermont was the #1 source state of "likely-trafficked" guns recovered in the Capital Region.) [Seven Days]
+ The The New York State Sheriffs' Association is pushing for the state legislature to provide funding for at least one armed officer at every elementary and high school. [TU]
+ The president of the Albany Public School Teacher Association on Donald Trump's proposal to arm teachers: "The answer just doesn't make any sense." [WNYT]
+ A 20-year-old Sage College student at a vigil Thursday on what she thought when the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting happened five years ago: "I was really shocked and I said to myself, 'This will never happen again. This is ridiculous.' And then over and over and over, this happened again." [TU]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Flooding concerns as ice jams break on Mohawk, pedestrian killed in Albany, former Troy councilman facing harassment charges in Reno, paid parking coming to downtown Saratoga

Mohawk Flooding
The warm temperatures have resulted in an ice jam break on the Mohawk that is beginning to flood the Stockade neighborhood. [Spectrum][Gazette]

Pedestrian death
Albany police are investigating the death of a 92-year-old pedestrian who was hit by a car as she stepped out from between parked vehicles near Washington and Quail Streets on Tuesday night. [TU]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Eye on potential flooding, mother charged following Troy fire, pressure on school budgets, together for 75 years

Ice jams and potential flooding
The rapidly warming weather this week is prompting concerns about potential flooding along the Mohawk River as ice jams thaw and move downstream. Meteorologists say it's hard to predict how the 17-mile-long ice jam in the Mohawk affect things. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Mother charged following Troy fire
Troy fire officials say it looks like the house fire on 4th Ave was caused by kids playing with matches or a lighter. The mother of the three children is alleged to have left them alone in the apartment and she's facing misdemeanor child endangerment charges. A passerby and neighbors came to the aid of the kids. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

Guns and schools
+ One of the recent trends in school design being incorporated by Schenectady and other local districts: "secure vestibules" -- basically two sets of locked doors at school entrances. [Daily Gazette]
+ Talking with local high school students about the national student walkout against school gun violence planned for March 14. [Daily Gazette]

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Former residents testify in Jay Street fire trial, should pardons of crimes committed as a teen be made public, communicating at the Olympics

Jay Street fire inspection trial
Thursday included testimony from former residents of the 104 Jay St apartment building, one who told the court upkeep of the building had fallen off in the months leading up to the fire and another who said city building inspector Kenneth Tyree didn't check the smoke detector in his unit during an inspection that was "real quick, about a minute." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Guns
+ Prompted by the school shooting in Florida this week, Andrew Cuomo has advocating for something like the SAFE Act on the national level. [Politico NY]
+ The Albany County Sheriff's Office says an Albany man was arrested for allegedly making a gun-related threat toward co-workers at the Albany County Nursing Home. [Spectrum]
+ The Berlin Central School District issued a notice parents Thursday about "a possible threat to the middle and high school." A 17-year-old has been arrested for allegedly making a comment deemed potentially threatening at lunch, which then ended up on Snapchat. [News10] [WNYT]
+ Schools and churches around the area say they're reviewing their plans for dealing with a shooter. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple: "This has become the norm. I never thought I'd say that about active shooter situations, but this is." [WNYT] [Spectrum]

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Troy has a new police chief, former building manager testifies in Jay St. fire trial, landslide repair underway, Saratoga anti-KKK rally

Troy police Chief
The city of Troy has a new police chief. Brian Owens took command of the city's police force on Wednesday, promising to lead the city's police out of a tumultuous two years. [Spectrum][TU]

Jay street fire trial
The former building manager of the Jay Street apartment building destroyed in a fatal fire in 2015, took the witness stand on Wednesday, testifying against Kenneth Tyree, the Schenectady city inspector charged with failing to properly inspect the building. The testimony was part of a plea agreement for Sacks, who pleaded guilty last month to four counts of criminally-negligent homicide will spend 1 to 3 years in state prison.[TU][Gazette]

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Mero sentenced for double murder, Testimony from Jay Street fire survivor, Anti-KKK rally planned today in Saratoga, lock of Washington's hair found at Union College

Jay street fire
A Schenectady County jury heard a tale of a narrow escape from a survivor of the 2015 Jay Street fire who leapt from a fifth floor apartment to escape the blaze. [Gazette]

Mero sentenced
Edward Mero was sentenced on Tuesday to 50 years to life for the murders of two woman whose deaths he tried to cover up in a Coeymans fire. [TU]

Percoco trial
Todd Howe was back on the witness stand Tuesday, following a weekend in jail after admitting to an act of fraud on the witness stand last week. Howe told prosecutors "I'm in a boatload of trouble." [TU][NYT]

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Push back on hate group flyers in Saratoga, mayors seek more state aid, a skeptical eye on Troy's comprehensive plan, Captain Cuomo

KKK flyers in Saratoga Springs
A group called the Saratoga Peace Alliance distributed flyers around Saratoga Springs as a counter to this weekend's distribution of KKK flyers. And the city council issued a joint system condemning the flyers and asking anyone with info about them to contact police. The city's public safety commissioner says the distribution of the flyers violates city code, but isn't a criminal offense. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Spectrum]

Trial related to Jay Street fire
A review of video and 911 calls from the fatal Jay Street fire that have surfaced as part of the trial of former Schenectady building inspector Kenneth Tyree, which resumes Tuesday. [Daily Gazette]

Mayors push for more state aid
Members of the New York Conference of Mayors -- including Kathy Sheehan and Gary McCarthy -- were at Capitol Monday pushing for an increase in the state's Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, or AIM. (It's one of the main ways the state distributes financial aid to cities.) They also say the Cuomo admin's push for local municipalities to share services hasn't been counting the full range of such efforts. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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What effect does Howe arrest have on Percoco trial, march calls for answers in death of man in Schenectady police custody, miles long ice jam on Mohawk, sliding to a silver medal

Percoco trial
+ It came out Friday that Todd Howe -- the star witness for the prosecution -- was arrested Thursday after admitting on the stand that he had tried to skip out on a $600 charge at the Waldorf Astoria by telling his credit card company he had canceled the reservation -- an act the feds decided was a violation of the conditions of his release. [WSJ] [TU]
+ What does the arrest mean for the trial? It's probably not good for the prosecution. [TU]
+ Also: Does Howe get to wear a suit in court now or will he be in prison clothing? [NYT]
+ Chris Churchill on ziti, both the literal and figurative types. [TU]

Review of death of man in Schenectady police custody
More than a hundred people marched in Schenectady Saturday calling for more information about the death of Andrew Kearse in police custody last May. Kearse's widow, Angelique Negroni-Kearse, says Schenectady police were slow to call for medical help after Kearse reported difficulty breathing following a short foot chase and arrest. Black Lives Matter of Greater New York is calling for video of the incident to be released to the public. (Negroni-Kearse says she was shown the video by the state Attorney General's office, which is investigating the death.) [TU] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

KKK flyers in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs police say flyers for a faction of the KKK showed up on cars windshields on the city's north side Sunday morning. SSPD says the flyers were similar to ones distributed last May. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

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Opening arguments in trial connected to Jay Street fire, more cross examination of Todd Howe, new Troy police chief, remembering Edmund O'Neal

Jay Street fire trial
During opening arguments in the trial of former Schenectady building inspector Kenneth Tyree connected to the fatal Jay Street fire, the prosecutor said the fire alarm was not working properly two weeks before the fire and that "if the defendant had done his job properly" ahead of the fire four people wouldn't have died. The defense argued Tyree had not been trained for that sort of inspection and is being scapegoated. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [News0]

Percoco trial
+ During cross examination of Todd Howe, an attorney for Joe Percoco laid out an argument that Percoco thought he was making money from a lobbying firm and Howe deceived him -- a charge that Howe denied. [TU]
+ Also on cross examination, Howe admitted that he had lied to his credit card company about racking up a $600 charge at the Waldorf Astoria in October 2016, which would appear to be violation of his cooperation agreement with the feds. [NYT]
+ Another angle to this whole situation: the use of private email accounts by Cuomo admin officials for government business, which Howe has testified was widespread. [TU]
+ The trial has also highlighted, again, the LLC loophole in the state's campaign finance rules. [Spectrum]
+ Andrew Cuomo again declined to comment on Thursday about the trial. [Politico NY]

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Trial begins in Jay Street fire, Percoco defense takes on Howe's credibility, graduation rates up in NY but down in Schenectady

Snow
Wednesday's snowstorm Brought as much as a foot of snow to areas of the Capital Region, closing schools, canceling flights and keeping tow trucks busy. [Gazette]

Federal budget deal
Chuck Schumer on the bipartisan budget deal struck on Wednesday in the Senate: "The budget deal doesn't have everything I wanted; it doesn't have everything Senator McConnell wanted; but it has what New Yorkers need."[TU]

Teen pleads guilty to murder
One of the teens charged with a the shooting death of a Mechanicville man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to second-degree murder. [Saratogian]

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Percoco and the ziti, Senate Dems unveil gun legislation, RPI administrator asked alumni association to send controversial email, it's snowing

Snow
The snow is underway and area closings have begun. [TU]

Percoco and ziti
Tuesday in the corruption trial of former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, star witness Todd Howe testified that he helped Percoco set up a no show job for Percoco's wife in something they called "operation fat man," and that Percoco referred to money as "ziti." [TU][Gazette]

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Sheehan presses case for permanent increase in Albany state funding, Howe testifies at Percoco trial, sentencing in UAlbany rape case, bowling a farewell to the Playdium

State funding for Albany
Kathy Sheehan was back before state legislators Monday pressing the case for Albany's annual state aid to be permanently increased by $12.5 million (the city budget is counting on that money), citing the city's disparity in per capita state funding and the large portion of tax-exempt and state-owned land. Sheehan also delivered a letter to Andrew Cuomo that argues the case. [News10] [TU] [Sheehan admin]

Percoco trial
The much anticipated moment: Todd Howe took the stand for the prosecution Monday in the Joe Percoco trial. Howe, who's already pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, described Percoco as "the closest thing to a brother that I ever had," and detailed he said were efforts to trade Percoco's influence within the Cuomo admin for bribes, or "ziti." [Spectrum] [TU] [NYT]

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Start of trial connected to Jay Street fire, Troy police detectives indicted, decision on Boreas Ponds use, tracking vacant buildings in Albany

Jay Street fire trial
Jury selection starts Monday in the trial of Kenneth Tyree, the former Schenectady building inspector facing charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the case of the fatal 2015 Jay Street fire. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Percoco trial
Todd Howe is scheduled to finally take the stand this week in the Joe Percoco trial -- and the defense attorneys in the case have been working to portray him as a liar. [NYT]

Troy Police Department
Two Troy police detectives were indicted Friday on charges related to an alleged covering up of a warrantless search executed by the TPD's drug unit. Their attorneys say they didn't do anything wrong. The special prosecutor in the case -- Columbia County DA Paul Czajka -- praised the TPD officers who spoke up about the situation. [TU] [Troy Record] [News10]

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Madden: New leadership and training for Troy police soon, New York hit with $14 million penalty over highway signs, Republican challenger for Kirsten Gillibrand

Troy Police Department
+ A grand jury has handed up a second indictment in the case of an alleged illegal search, and cover up, by the Troy Police Department's drug unit -- it's scheduled to be opened Friday afternoon. [TU]
+ Mayor Patrick Madden says there will be new leadership of the police department by the end of February and it will be training to improve its interaction with the community. Said Madden in his state of the city address: "Policing isn't just about capturing and handcuffing people, it's about working with individuals in the community." [TU] [WNYT]

Schenectady County jail guard discipline
"People familiar with the situation" tell the Times Union that a Schenectady County jail guard is facing a range of sanctions, including early retirement, for allegedly sexually harassing several women on the jail's medical staff -- but he'll be allowed to stay on the job for another 20 months. [TU]

Percoco trial
A Competitive Power Ventures exec testifying Thursday about an arrangement to pay Joe Percoco's wife for "educational consulting services": "When the first answer out of somebody's mouth to a pretty basic question is 'there is nothing illegal about it,' it raises a red flag in my mind." [TU]

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Faso, Stefanik safe following Amtrak crash, 20 years for Albany Father's Day shooting, prosecutors: Percoco used influence in "Albany game," William Kennedy celebrates 90 years

Faso/ Stefanik uninjured in train crash
Corrected Representatives John Faso was not injured when an Amtrak charter train carrying Congressional Republicans to a retreat crashed into a garbage truck on Wednesday. (Elise Stefanik was not a train.) [WNYT] [AP/TU] [@RepStefanik]

Percoco trial
Wednesday in the trial of Joe Percoco:
+ Prosecutors said Percoco used his close ties to Andrew Cuomo to give developers access to the "Albany game." [NYT]
+ The court heard testimony about an alleged "low show" job that prosecutors claim was arranged for Percoco's wife by lobbyist Todd Howe.[TU]


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A rumble and then everything went black, sentencing in Blessings Tavern crash, imagining a Governor Trump, triple OT

Schenectady mudslide
+ One of the men trapped in an apartment by the Schenectady mudslide described the what happened from his point of view: "All of a sudden, we heard a rumble and the next thing you know, I woke up and everything was black. I woke up next to my nephew screaming." [News10]
+ Crews demolished two homes and a garage Monday, and officials are examining an apartment building. [Spectrum]
+ City officials say they're not sure yet what caused the slide. State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who's a civil engineer, said now could be a good time to do a wider review of potential problem spots. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

Percoco trial
+ On Monday the prosecution showed emails it alleges indicate Joe Percoco intervened with Empire State Development so that COR Development wouldn't have to reach a labor peace agreement for a Syracuse-area project, and an FBI agent testified about a $15k payment from COR to Todd Howe's consultancy that appears to have then been funneled to Percoco's wife. [TU]
+ Also: The trial has raised questions about Percoco's use of state-funded office space while he was on leave as Andrew Cuomo's campaign manager. [TU]

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Mudslide traps man in Schenectady, the business of local hospitals, teaching mental health in schools, trying out for the team

Schenectady mudslide
+ A mudslide early Sunday morning in the area of Barney Street/Nott Terrace in Schenectady (map) trapped a man in his home and prompted the evacuation of 11 people in nearby homes. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ The 19-year-old man who was trapped was taken to Albany Med and is "doing OK," his mother told WNYT. [WNYT]
+ Schenectady city officials say two homes and a garage will be demolished. [TU]
+ A similar Schenectady mudslide in 1996 killed a man. [Daily Gazette]

Complaints about Mechanicville mayor
Mechanicville's human resource officer says the city council is hiring an outside attorney to investigate allegations of boorish and harassing behavior by mayor Dennis Baker. [TU]

Percoco trial
Among the sharp directives issued by judge Valerie Caproni to attorneys in the Joe Percoco trial: "You're entitled to a vigorous defense. What you're not entitled to is a tedious defense." [TU]

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Mechanicville police accuse mayor of boorish behavior, wilderness designations recommended for Boreas Ponds, counting Capital Center events

Complaints about Mechanicville mayor
Mechanicville police have filed a personnel complaint against against mayor Dennis Baker, accusing him of all sorts of intimidating, threatening, boorish, and generally cranky behavior. Among the specific allegations: Baker contaminated a potential crime scene, called police multiple times a day to report minor traffic violations (while sometimes following vehicles) as part of a campaign to get more tickets issued, and called an officer's transgender parent "disgusting, weird." [WNYT] [TU]

Guilty verdict in fatal stabbing
A jury found the man accused of fatally stabbing Marc Douglas on Grand Street in Albany last June guilty of second-degree murder. Richard Quinn -- who's 64 years old -- faces 25 years to life in prison at sentencing. Quinn had been picked up on probation violations in the months before the stabbing, but was allowed to remain free without bail. The Albany County DA's office is arguing that the case points to shortcomings in Andrew Cuomo's proposed bail reforms. [Spectrum] [TU] [Albany County DA]

Flu
Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing pharmacists to issue flu shots to kids ages 2-18. The move was prompted by the strength of this year's flu season -- the number of lab-confirmed flu cases around the state continued to climb last week. [Cuomo admin] [NYS DOH]

Troy Night Out 2018-January in-post ad

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Percoco debt over $1M, Cuomo signs Net Neutrality order, Albany could face subpoena over sanctuary status, Moody's report:casinos "cannibalizing revenues"

Net Neutrality
Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Wednesday prohibiting state government contracts with internet companies that do not adhere to the principals of net neutrality. [News 10][TU]

Percoco
Day two in the corruption trial of Joe Percoco: It was revealed that Cuomo's top aid and his wife were facing more than $1 million in mortgage and credit card debts in 2014, when he allegedly accepted payoffs from businessmen. [TU]

Sanctuary cities
Albany is one of 23 sanctuary cities around the country that could be served with a subpoena by the U.S. Department of Justice if it doesn't provide proof that it is complying with Federal immigration law. [TU][WNYT]

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Opening arguments in Percoco trial, Kirsten Gillibrand's "no" vote, Kathy Sheehan v. Tucker Carlson

Percoco trial
Opening statements got underway Tuesday in the trial of Cuomo aide Joe Percoco. Prosecutors described Percoco as a powerful, but not wealthy man who traded on "the most valuable thing he owned -- his job, his power and influence in state government."[News 10][NYT]

GE
GE's Power unit in Schenectady is reporting that its profit dropped 88 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.[TU]

Capital Region Unemployment
Unemployment in the Capital Region is up 0.3 percentage points to 4.2 percent. [TU]

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Continued back and forth over Troy Police Department, SUNY chancellor proposes move to zero-carbon electricity, no show but a donation anyway

Scrutiny of Troy Police Department
+ Chris Churchill, in response to former Troy police chief John Tedesco's pushback on the state Attorney General's review of the Edson Thevenin shooting: "Taken together, [a series of brutality and corruption allegations] show a troubled department with a history of treating residents with aggressive disrespect. So I disagree with Tedesco. For the good of the city, Troy's next police chief should come from somewhere else." [TU]
+ City Council president Carmella Mantello's request for a meeting with the AG's office about the report has rankled the Troy Police Benevolent Association, which has accused of her setting up the meeting "for political points and headlines." Mantello: "I'm looking at this as a whole. No one is here to point fingers." [Troy Record] [Troy PBA FB] [Spectrum]
+ Local defense attorneys speculate on whether the AG's report will affect the way juries perceive the Troy Police Department. [TU]

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Former TPD chief pushes back on criticism of shooting investigation, a guilty plea in Jay Street fire case, RPI alumni group pushes for change

Scrutiny of Troy Police Department
+ In a letter to the Troy Record, John Tedesco -- who just recently retired as Troy police chief -- called state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a "political mad man" and pushed back on sections of the state AG's office report on the fatal police shooting of Edson Thevenin, arguing the AG's office was motivated to find fault so that it could pursue a case against Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove (Tedesco also took issue Times Union columnist Chris Churchill.) [Troy Record]
+ The AG's office will be meeting with the Troy City Council to discuss the report, at the request of council president Carmella Mantello. She said the meeting is part of the council pursing an oversight role of the TPD and the mayor. [TU] [WNYT]

Joe Percoco trial
The trial of Joe Percoco -- a longtime top aide to Andrew Cuomo -- on federal corruption charges starts Monday. It's expected to highlight the workings of the state's economic development efforts, and potentially complicate things politically for the governor. [TU] [Politico NY]

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Call for Troy police reform, big shakeup in Albany County Legislature, Sheehan continues push for state funding, mermaid hair

Call for Troy police reform
+ Prompted by the recent state Attorney General's office report about the fatal police shooting of Edson Thevenin, activists gathered in Troy Thursday to call for a more active civilian police review board as well as officer body cameras. [Troy Record]
+ Former Troy city council member Anastasia Robertson: "We're not here to say all policemen are bad, or policewomen are bad, because that is not the case ... But everybody, regardless, deserves fairness and unbiased approach without prejudgment on how their case is handled." [News10]
+ The group is pushing for the state AG to also take over the investigation of the police shooting of Dahmeek McDonald. McDonald's attorney -- Mark Mischler -- said Troy mayor Patrick Madden's defense of the police department following the report on the Thevenin shooting is "nothing less than traumatic." [Spectrum] [TU]

Big shakeup in Albany County Legislature
Albany County Legislature majority leader Frank Commisso Sr. -- who held the position for 25 years -- resigned the leadership position Thursday ahead of an evening caucus organized to oust him. The new majority leader is Gary Domalewicz, a 25-year veteran of the legislature who represents a district adjacent to Commisso's in uptown Albany. The switch comes two weeks after the former chair of the legislature -- Green Island's Sean Ward, a Commisso ally -- was replaced by Andrew Joyce. [TU]

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Cuomo calls budget a defense from "economic missile," reaction to AG's report on Troy shooting, Schenectady police lieutenant charged

State budget
+ Andrew Cuomo released his 2018 budget on Tuesday, calling it a response to Washington's "economic missile"
+ The proposal includes a plan that would allow businesses to assume their employees' income taxes as a payroll tax. [NYT][Spectrum]
+ There's also a plan in the works that could allow people to make deductible "charitable donations" to their local school districts in lieu of school property taxes.[TU]
+ Missing from the $168 billion spending plan: the $12.5 million in Albany "Capital City Funding." [TU]

Cuomo up 20 points in Siena poll
The newest Siena poll shows Andrew Cuomo's approval rating at 62 percent -- up 10 points from his November rating. [TU]

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Arrest in Rotterdam crash that killed pedestrian, eye on river ice and flooding, Albany nearing contract with blue collar workers, remembering founder of Pine Hollow Arboretum

Pedestrian killed in Rotterdam hit-and-run
+ Police arrested a Schenectady woman in connection with the hit-and-run crash in Rotterdam Friday night in which 46-year-old Dramone Houston died -- 30-year-old Megan M. Alexandre of Schenectady is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Rotterdam police say surveillance camera video from nearby businesses played a key role in leading them to Alexandre's vehicle. [News10] [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ Houston's wife, Yvette, to the Times Union: "What really hurts and bothers me is that he was lying there for hours in the sleet and freezing rain ... It just breaks my heart. I can't get it out of my head." [TU]

Recalling the Guilderland quadruple homicide
Guilderland police chief Carol Lawlor on the still-unsolved 2014 killing of a family of four: "Not one of us goes down Western Avenue without that coming to mind, because there it is -- it's right there ... I know that it still plays heavily on the minds and hearts of the community, and the police department." [TU]

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Guilty plea in fatal Albany hit-and-run, concerns about flooding, South End residents question air quality study, weather prompting produce shortages

Guilty plea in fatal Washington Park hit-and-run
Jose Martinez -- accused of hitting Rajine Martinez while she was in a road in Washington Park last year, and then leaving the scene -- pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Which Results in Death Without Reporting. He faces 2-6 years in prison at sentencing. [TU] [Albany County DA]

Sentencing in Hadley murder
Michael C. Norton -- the Hadley man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for hitting his wife, Sherry Norton, with an axe last May -- was
sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. [TU]

Jeff Klein sexual harassment allegation
Jeff Klein has formally asked the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate the allegation that he forcibly kissed a staffer outside a Lark Street bar in 2015. The head of the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference stated in his letter to JCOPE, "The alleged incident did not happen, period." The request to JCOPE came after Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said the case didn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Senate's ethics committee. [Politico NY] [TU] [Politico NY]

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IDC leader Klein denies sexual assault allegation, Saratoga County has state's largest gender pay gap, rain and higher temps prompt flood warnings

Jeff Klein denies sexual allegation
State Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein is denying allegations that he forcibly kissed a female staffer outside Justin's on Lark Street in 2015. State Senator Diane Savino, who is dating Klein and was at the bar on the night in question, came to his defense. Savino says on the night in question, the staffer invited Klein to a Seder dinner, which he declined, in full view of herself and other colleagues. [TU][Huffington Post][Spectrum][Politico][NYT]

Saratoga county pay gap
Saratoga County has the largest pay gap between the sexes in the state, with women, on average, making $18,539 less than their male counterparts.[TU]

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Hoosick Falls will sue over PFOA, Morse critic charged with harassment , Oquendo seeks new trial, Albany to Buffalo non-stop

Hoosick Falls PFOA
The Hoosick Falls Village Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to sue Saint-Gobain and Honeywell for the PFOA contamination of the village water supply and soil. [Spectrum][TU]

Hit and run trial
The defense attorney for Jose Martinez, the man charged with the hit-and-run death of a woman in Washington Park last year, slammed the case against his client based on the fact that two witnesses lied about which of them was driving the car that first struck the victim, then changed their story after a video surfaced. [TU]

Oquendo seeks new trial
Sentencing for Johnny Oquendo, who was convicted late last year for the murder of Noel Alkaramla, has been delayed while he seeks a new trial. [Spectrum]

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ZBA decision opens way for Saratoga Code Blue shelter, taxi owners criticized proposed Capital Region taxi system, Playdium redevelopment seeking tax breaks

Saratoga Springs Code Blue shelter
The Saratoga Springs zoning board of appeals voted Monday that the city's proposed new Code Blue shelter can be designated a neighborhood rooming house, opening the way for the project to be built on Walworth Street. An attorney for neighborhood opponents of the proposed shelter site say they're considering whether to challenge the decision in court. The director of the shelter says its been housing 41 people a night for more than four weeks during the recent cold at its current location on Henry Street. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Malta Gardens water problems
Residents of Malta Gardens showed up at the Malta Town Hall Monday to focus attention on the fact they've been without consistent water service for a week -- a problem that management now says might be extend beyond a water main break. [Spectrum]

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Memorial service honors victims in Troy murder case, Republicans concerned about finding strong Cuomo challenger, food pantries on campus, homeless Jesus

Troy quadruple homicide
+ A grand jury handed up indictments Friday against the two men accused of the Troy quadruple homicide, with charges including first- and second-degree murder, along with burglary and robbery. The indictments had been expected on Wednesday and the delay prompted procedural maneuvering from the DA's office and protests from the defense. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]
+ At a memorial service in Troy Saturday, people remembered Shanta Myers, her 11-year-old son Jeremiah, and five-year-old daughter Shanise. Chris Churchill on the service: "If you're a person who tries to look for the good after a tragedy, you saw what you wanted there." [TU x2]

Review of Albany police handling of alleged rape case
Albany acting police chief Bob Sears says the department is reviewing the handling of a case in which, "sources briefed on the case" tell the Times Union, that officers responded to an Albany apartment about an intoxicated woman being abducted, left without making an arrest, and the women alleges she was later raped. [TU]

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State of the State sets in a difficult financial year, Siena poll shows consumer confidence up, memorial service scheduled for slain Troy family


State of the State
In a 90 minute State of the State address on Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo laid out his plans for what is shaping up to be a very difficult financial year for the state. The agenda took aim at federal government policies like DACA repeal and tax reform, and included plans to get rid of the tipped wage for hospitality workers, battle sexual harassment, end cash bail for misdemeanors, make voting easier in the state -- setting Cuomo's platform for the upcoming gubernatorial race. Here's a closer look at six things mentioned in the speech, and here's the full text of the speech.[NYT][TU][AOA][NY.GOV]

+Chris Churchill on the State of the State, from the size of the podium("it makes the governor look like an immigrant from the isle of Lilliput.) to the content of the speech. [TU]

+Sara Foss on the things left unsaid in the 90 minute address.[Gazette]

Consumer confidence
A new Siena poll says consumer confidence is on the rise in New York. [TU]

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State of the State and start of legislative session today, Troy quadruple murder suspects have violent pasts, councilman calls on Morse to quit in meeting turned shouting match

State of the State
Andrew Cuomo is slated to give his State of the State address at 1pm. Among the items on the agenda,
how to deal with the fallout from Federal policies like the new tax plan and the coming expiration of DACA, overhaul of sexual harassment policies, early election voting and ending cash bail for minor crimes. Here's a list of Cuomo's State of the State proposals.

The speech marks the start of the 2018 legislative session, which begins with a $4 billion deficit and the threat of losing billions more from Federal cuts.
[NYT][Gazette][TU][WNYT][NYT]]NY.gov]

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Arrests but still few details about Troy quadruple homicide, inaugurations for local leaders, minimum wage increase and start for paid family leave

Troy quadruple homicide
+ Two Schenectady men were arraigned Saturday on charges related to the killings of Shanta Myers, Brandi Mells, Shanise Myers, and Jeremiah Myers in Lansingburgh. The men -- 38-year-old James W. White and 24-year-old Justin C. Mann -- were charged with one count of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder. [WNYT] [Troy Record]
+ Law enforcement officials have continued to keep back many details of the investigation, including what led them to the two men or what the motive might be. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ The director of the City Mission in Schenectady told the Times Union that James White had been banned from the shelter several months ago because of his behavior. [TU]
+ A fundraising campaign for the Myers family has now raised more than $40,000. [TU]

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Guilty verdict in fatal hit-and-run, APD officer arrested again, police search for Spa City bank robber, tax plan confusion begins

Guilty verdict in fatal hit and run
An Albany County jury found Brian Tromans guilty on Wednesday in the hit-and-run death of National Guard Master Sergeant Rudolph Seabron in Colonie in January. [Spectrum]

APD officer's 2nd arrest
APD officer Shawn Dixon was arrested for leaving the scene of a car crash on Wednesday, for the second time in eight months.[TU]

Attempted murder
Two Albany men are facing attempted murder charges for allegedly robbing and shooting a man on Old Hickory Drive in late November. [TU]

Republican tax plan
+ A look at some of the confusion and chaos anticipated as the new tax laws go into effect in less than two weeks. [Politico]
+ Capital Region tax advisers on what the new federal tax structure will mean for New Yorkers. [Gazette]
+ Chris Churchill on how the Republican tax plan will affect not-for-profits by removing some of the financial incentive to donate. [TU]

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Stefanik/Faso vote "no" on tax bill, Mero found guilty on all counts in double murder, tax exemption questions on two more Albany properties, local car dealer taking Bitcoin

Tax bill
Both Elise Stefanik and John Faso voted "no" on the tax reform bill that passed in the House on Tuesday. The bill heads for the Senate today. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that House Republicans will "Rue the day"the legislation was passed. [TU][Washington Examiner]

+Town and city governments are seeing a number of requests for people to pay their 2018 property taxes early, before the new law takes affect. [Gazette]

Two more Albany properties may have wrongly received tax exemptions
The Albany assessor's office says two downtown parking lots with ties to the Albany Convention Center may have wrongly been granted exemptions over the last seven years, but convention center authorities contend the exemptions are legal.[TU]

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Morse accuser details alleged abuse, Stefanik to vote "no" on tax plan, school bus driver accused of being intoxicated on the job, Andrew Cuomo's ghosts

Allegations against Shawn Morse
Colleen Keller, one of the women alleged to have been abused by Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse, has issued a statement pushing back on Morse's claim there was no abuse: "The abuse started out with me being physically pushed, grabbed and verbally degraded. It escalated from there." [TU]

Saratoga Code Blue shelter
The Saratoga Springs zoning board of appeals heard arguments during a public hearing Monday night about whether the Saratoga Code Blue shelter should be allowed to operate at a location on Walworth Street. Opponents are arguing the shelter would violate the zoning for the property. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Republican tax plan
+ Elise Stefanik announced Monday she will vote "no" on the Republican tax plan, because "the final bill does not adequately protect the state and local tax deduction that so many in our district and across New York rely on." John Faso is also a "no" vote. [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette]
+ In her statement, Stefanik referred to "Albany's failed leadership and inability to rein in spending," which didn't go over well with Andrew Cuomo. [TU]
+ Cuomo said Monday that a shutdown of the federal government prompted by Democrats in Congress would be a justified move to fight to the tax plan. [Politico NY]

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Casino revenue lagging far behind projections, questions about Albany org for homeless after death, Troy police chief retiring, whether to purse the farming life

Casino revenue
The actual revenues from the new casinos around the state -- and the resulting reductions in local municipal taxes -- are way behind the projections made when the idea was pitched to the public. [TU]

People who are homeless
+ The policies and management of the Homeless Action Committee in Albany are under scrutiny after a resident of the org's North Pearl Street facility was turned away for having alcohol one night earlier this month and was found dead outside in the cold the next morning. [TU]
+ A look at the Code Blue shelter in Schenectady and the efforts to meet the health needs of the people there. [Daily Gazette]

Missing woman found in ravine
North Greenbush police say a Troy woman last seen very early Sunday was found in a ravine Sunday evening. NGPD says she was found barely conscious and suffering from hypothermia. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Deliberations in double murder trial, NY AG says he's suing over net neutrality rollback, Pearl St venue's liquor license suspended, the teen who saved his sister from a fire

Mero double murder trial
The jury is now deliberating in the trial of Edward Mero for the deaths of Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine. During closing arguments, the prosecution argued there are too many details pointing toward Mero for them to be coincidental. And the defense argued the prosecution lacks hard evidence connecting Mero to the deaths. [News10] [TU] [Spectrum]

Republican tax plan
+ John Faso is "likely a 'no'" on the latest version of the Republican tax plan being worked out between the House and Senate, while a spokesman for Elise Stefanik says she's "pleased it's moving in a positive direction." [TU]
+ The tax plan's cap on deductions for state and local taxes has some people in New York asking if they can pay their 2018 property taxes before the end of this year. [TU]

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Albany police probe overnight shooting, Cohoes Dems back Morse, suspect in Blessings Tavern crash back in jail, $85M in REDC grants

Albany shootings
Albany police are investigating a shooting near Dove Street And Hudson Avenue that occurred late Wednesday night. The victim says he was attacked by four men who stole his wallet, punched him in the face and shot him in the foot and elbow. [WNYT][APD]

Albany man charged in shooting
Albany police have linked a Schenectady man to a Clinton Street shooting that took place on December 23 of 2016. [TU]

Morse
The Cohoes Democratic Committee is backing Shawn Morse in spite of allegations of domestic abuse against the mayor. Morse held a closed door meeting with committee members on Wednesday night to discuss the allegations as well as economic development issues. [WNYT][Spectrum][TU]

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Gillibrand v. Trump, Morse denies new allegations and refuses to step down, David Sweat on hunger strike

Gillibrand and Trump
Kirstin Gillibrand called Donald Trump's Tuesday morning tweet about her a "sexual smear." Gillibrand has called on Trump to resign over allegations of sexual harassment, and Trump's tweet, some say, is giving her some useful limelight. [NYT][Specrtrum][TU]

Shawn Morse
New allegations of harassment and abuse against Shawn Morse have been leveled by the roommate of a former girlfriend.. Some officials are calling for his resignation, but Morse denies the allegations and he announced on Tuesday that he has no plans to resign. His announcement, met with applause from supporters. [Spectrum][Record][WNYT][TU]
[Spectrum]


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Gillibrand calls for Trump to resign, Sheehan joins call for Morse to resign, ALB to BUF, the effects of expanding coverage for transgender people

Kirsten Gillibrand calls for Trump to resign
+ Kirsten Gillibrand on CNN Monday: "President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign." She is now one of five Democratic Senators calling for the President to step down. [CNN] [Politico]
+ Cue the inevitable Twitter fight with Donald Trump. [Twitter]

Abuse allegations against Shawn Morse
+ On Monday Kathy Sheehan joined the chorus of local Democratic politicians calling for Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse to resign because of the domestic violence allegations against him. [TU]
+ Dan McCoy, to WNYT: ""Being a father of two daughters, being a husband, I can't condone any of this type of behavior. So if it comes out and it's true, for the people of Cohoes, the mayor should step aside." [WNYT]
+ From a statement released by Shawn Morse: "In the absence of a credible, sworn allegation that I engaged in wrongdoing, I respectfully request my fellow Democrats and the good people of Cohoes to keep an open mind and permit any such allegations to be resolved by the Courts, where I am entitled to the same measures of due process as any other citizen." [News10]
+ Chris Churchill on the prospects for Cohoes with Morse as its mayor: "Politicians will avoid Morse. Much worse for the city, businesses and developers may also stay away for fear of the damage that could come tying their reputations to the embattled mayor." [TU]

NY Governor 2018
State Assembly Republican minority leader Brian Kolb says he's into the pool for 2018 governor's race. [TU]

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More allegations prompt call for Morse to step down, fatal shooting at downtown Albany venue, a year after an Adirondack rescue, UAlbany tops Siena in Albany Cup

Abuse allegations against Shawn Morse
+ Citing "three people with knowledge of the matter," the Times Union reports there are domestic abuse allegations against Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse that date back to the 1990s -- Morse did not comment on the allegations via an attorney, and his attorney said "it will be evident that the mayor did not engage in any wrongdoing or criminal conduct" in the recent incident involving his wife. [TU]
+ State Assembly member Pat Fahy on Twitter: "These are disturbing revelations from the @timesunion about a history of domestic violence and unacceptable behavior not becoming of the title "Honorable" from an elected official. Time for Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse to make an honorable move and step aside." Said Fahy to WNYT: "It is very upsetting and what bothered me the most is to see there's been such a strong history and such a disturbing disturbing pattern of violence and abuse." [@PatriciaFahy109] [WNYT]
+ Albany County Democratic Committee chair Jack Flynn to the TU: "If in fact, the allegations are found to be true, we ask that Mayor Morse resign from office immediately." [TU]

Fatal shooting in downtown Albany
Albany police say a man was fatally shot early Saturday morning at the Levels Banquet Hall on North Pearl Street. APD is asking anyone with information contact the department. (Steve Barnes on the backstory of the venue.) [APD] [TU]

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Fights prompt closure of Albany High, waiting for word on GE cuts, Cuomo and the conference call, balancing the ballet at SPAC

Fights shut down Albany High
The Albany school district says there were several fights among Albany High School students during a fire drill toward the end of the school day Thursday and, as a result, the school will be closed Friday as staff review video. The district says 10 students were arrested and there could be additional arrests -- it also said there were no weapons involved. The incident prompted a large police response -- and many rumors about what did or did not happen. [Albany school district] [TU]

Double murder trial
The trial Thursday included testimony from a man who says he saw Edward Mero in the area where Shelby Countermine's body was found in Coeymans, and testimony from Countermine's father about exchanges he had with Mero around the time Countermine disappeared. [TU]

Sentencing in Rocks shooting
The man who pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting of Wendell Hill during a party at Rocks in Albany on Thanksgiving in 2016 was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Said Hill's mother at the sentencing: "Why did you take my baby from me?" [Spectrum] [TU]

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GE Power may lose 12,000 jobs, Gillibrand & Schumer: Franken should resign, single vote decides Troy council race, Saratoga scraps two longtime festivals

GE Power to cut 12,000 jobs
GE Power may cut 12 thousand jobs in an effort to slash $2.5 billion in expenses. The reductions, account for about 18 percent of GE Power's workforce and are mostly expected to affect workers outside the U.S. [TU][Gazette]

Franken
Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer are among a group of Democratic senators calling for Al Franken to step down in light of harassment allegations. [NYT]

McGrath wins Troy council seat by single vote
Following the counting of three absentee votes, longtime Troy Councilman and Republican Mark McGrath beat Democratic challenger Cindy Blakely by a single vote.[TU][Record]

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Shen land sale passes, Rotterdam police search for bank robber, 3 absentee ballots will decide Troy race, state of emergency lifted in Cohoes

Shen land vote
Voters overwhelmingly approved the $1.1 million deal for the Shenedehowa School District to sell 37-acres of undeveloped forest and wetlands to the town of Clifton Park.[TU][Gazette]

Mero murder trial
Employees of the Albany water department testified Tuesday that former employee Ted Mero, on trial for the Arcadia Avenue fire that killed 23 year old Megan Cunningham, boasted a few weeks before the blaze that he could burn a house down without getting caught. [TU]

Rotterdam bank robber
Police in Rotterdam are searching for the man who robbed the Altamont Avenue branch of the Pioneer Savings Bank on Tuesday afternoon. [WNYT]

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Cuomo and other governors talk about suing over Republican tax plan, opening statements in double murder trial, treating kids suffering from trauma with care

Republican tax plan
+ Andrew Cuomo, California governor Jerry Brown, and New Jersey governor-elect Phil Murphy say they're looking at suing over the Republican tax plan that's moving through Congress because of it caps the exemption on property taxes and eliminates the deduction for state income tax. [TU] [Politico NY]
+ The exact effects of tax overhaul are still being sorted, but experts seem to be in agreement that it will have a significant effect on New York State, especially downstate. [TU]
+ The House version of the tax plan would count tuition waivers for graduate students as income, which an RPI official says would have a "chilling effect" on grad students. [Biz Review]

Body found in Delmar
Bethlehem police say they've
identified the body found on the slope behind the Hoffman's car wash on Delaware Ave -- an adult woman -- and say there doesn't appear to be any foul play. [TU] [Spectrum] [WNYT]

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The charges against the Rensselaer County DA, examining school segregation, perspectives on the rising minimum wage, 150 years in downtown Albany

Charges against Rensselaer County DA
+ From Friday: Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove was arranged on charges of felony perjury and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct in connection with his handling of the fatal shooting of a man in 2016 by Troy police. The state Attorney General's office alleges that Abelove withheld evidence from the grand jury that initially reviewed the shooting case, "took the extraordinary step" of granting immunity to the police officer who testified before that grand jury, and then made a false statement to the grand jury reviewing his own conduct. [TU] [NYS OAG]
+ After the arraignment, Abelove said he's done nothing wrong and will not resign. [Troy Record] [News10]
+ The Cuomo admin says it's reviewing the situation, and while it's possible the governor could initiate a removal of the DA, experts say it's unlikely. [The Alt]
+ Independent of the charges on Friday, there are signs of problems in how the Rensselaer County DA's office is being run. [TU]
+ The office is up for election next year -- reviewing the the field of potential candidates. [TU]

Body found in Delmar
Bethlehem police say a hunter reported on Saturday finding human remains on the hillside behind the Hoffman's car wash on Delaware Ave. BPD says the body was decomposed to the point it was initially difficult to tell much about it. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. [News10] [WNYT] [TU]

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Massive fire in Cohoes, absentee ballot allegations in Albany, layoffs at GE, so many apartments planned

Massive fire in downtown Cohoes
+ That huge fire on Remsen Street in downtown Cohoes Thursday afternoon and evening destroyed or damaged more 20 buildings. A resident told WNYT that the wind-blown fire looked like "a tornado fire" jumping from building to building. [TU] [WNYT]
+ Officials say no one was seriously injured, but approximately 20 people are thought to have been displaced by the fire. [News10] [Troy Record]
+ Crews totally more than 100 firefighters from fire departments around the Capital Region responded to the fire. [Spectrum]
+ A Cohoes man is accused of causing fire, and has been arraigned on arson and reckless endangerment charges. Authorities allege he was trying to bend metal for a sword in a fire in a barrel in his backyard and the fire got away from him. An assistant police chief called the fire "reckless arson." [Spectrum [WNYT] [TU]
+ Among the buildings affected is the historic Smith's Restaurant, which suffered heavy water damage. [Daily Gazette]

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McLaughlin sanctioned in Assembly, Albany request $2 million for Cap Rep project,Troy seeks new Leonard Hospital proposal

McLaughlin sanctioned
Assemblyman and executive-elect Steve McLaughlin was sanctioned by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Wednesday, for a June 2016 incident where he was alleged to have asked a female aide to give him nude photos. The sanction follows a 17-month ethics investigation into the incident. Chris Churchill makes the case that in this climate of famous and powerful men being called out for sexual harassment, McLaughlin, who won the race for executive before voters were told about the harassment allegations, is the luckiest politician around. [Spectrum][TU][TU]

Key theft leads to jail lockdown
The Schenectady County jail was locked down on Monday, after an inmate stole a set of keys in a sheriff's van. [TU]


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Troy council rejects budget, Senate Dems may reunite, SUNY Poly bailout approved, Warren Buffett asked to remove oil trains from Adks

Troy budget
In a 7-2 vote, the Troy City Council rejected Mayor Patrick Madden's proposed budget on Tuesday and refused to move ahead on a $190 per residential unit trash fee that would be necessary to balance the spending plan. Without approval from the council, the mayor's budget will still technically take effect in December, and the gap would have to be addressed after the fact. [TU][Spectrum][WNYT]

Reuniting
Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein has reportedly agreed to a plan to reunite the conference with State Senate Democrats after nearly seven years apart. [Politico][TU]


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Money for drinking water systems, the latest fight over the Troy budget, Schenectaday's plans for police body cameras, Phil Bayly is retiring

Drinking water
Albany, Schenectady, and Troy are each getting roughly $500k from the state to replace lead service lines in older sections of their drinking water systems. Joe Coffey, head of the Albany Water Department, says the money could cover the replacement 100-250 of the lines connecting homes to mains -- which he called "a good drop in the bucket." And Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says the first step will be working to prioritize which pipes should be replaced. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [Spectrum] [Daily Gazette]

State Senate
A group of top state Democratic Party officials are pitching a plan to re-unify the Democrats in the state Senate in order to regain a ruling coalition there. (The breakaway Independent Democratic Conference is currently aligned in a coalition with Republicans.) If that happens, it would make Brooklyn's Simcha Felder -- a Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans -- the 32nd vote in a chamber otherwise split 31-31. [TU] [Politico NY]

Albany double murder case
The man accused of killing Megan Cunningham in 2013 Albany fire and Shelby Countermine in 2014 allegedly talked with a date about getting "rid of people" and made other potentially incriminating statements to investigators and inmates, according to docs filed in court. [TU]

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Tracking gun violence, Albany and density, what you know instead of who know, and state champs -- again

Gun violence
A look at every shots fired incident in Schenectady so far this year and efforts to gun violence. [Daily Gazette]

Absent teachers
Bethany Bump: "School districts in the Capital Region and beyond are increasingly having trouble filling classrooms with high-quality teachers, due to a growing shortage of substitute teachers and frequent teacher absences caused by illness, caregiving duties and required training, among other things." [TU]

Albany apartment projects
+ A development team is now proposing building 170 apartments on the Sandidge Way site near SUNY Poly in Albany. [Biz Review]
+ Chris Churchill on the recent mini-boom in apartment projects in Albany: "I get the complaints. It is hard for residents of established neighborhoods to welcome construction that may alter their ease of life. And it is certainly a good thing when residents want to protect their neighborhoods and demand quality from developers. But generally speaking, Albany should embrace this wave of new construction and the increasing population density it promises." [TU]

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Accused shooter in Albany death arrested and dies later in the day, fight over Troy trash fee and budget, where Joe Biden ate after his Schenectady stop

Accused shooter in Albany death arrested, and dies later in the day
Albany police announced Tuesday that they had arrested Taron Robinson, who was accused of fatally shooting Christopher Hardy this past April near First Street and Quail Street. And Robinson -- who had been earlier diagnosed with terminal cancer -- died Tuesday night at Albany Med, according to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. Hardy was the biological brother of mayor Kathy Sheehan's adopted son, and Robinson was nephew of Common Council member Mark Robinson. [APD] [TU]

Troy trash fee
The Troy City Council rejected the Madden administration's proposed trash fee Tuesday night -- opponents called it a hidden tax and said the admin lacked a plan for moving the city toward pay as you throw. In a statement, Madden said the decision opens a $2.9 million hole in the budget. [Troy Record] [News10]

Schenectady police body cameras
Schenectady police are moving toward testing officer body cameras, maybe as early as February. [TU]

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Fatal fire in Saratoga County, Albany budget passed, the Cuomo admin and Sam Hoyt, Joe Biden at Proctors

Fatal Saratoga County fire
A mother and daughter died in a house fire in Corinth Monday morning. Three other people, including two young children, were rescued and taken to the hospital. Officials have not yet indicated was caused the fire. [TU]

Albany budget
The Albany Common Council approved the 2018 budget 12-0 with a few changes, including a small reduction in the trash fee for multi-unit buildings and two-percent raise for council members. [TU]

Troy trash fee
Is a 17-year-old plan the way for Troy to move toward a pay-as-you-throw trash system? (A trash fee is currently a key issued for the Troy budget.) [Troy Record]

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Reaction to guilty verdict in Troy murder trial, protest of police conduct in Troy, talking with Carolyn McLaughlin

Reaction to guilty verdict in the death of Noel Alkaramla
+ Debra Napoli -- Noel Alkaramla's mother, and Johnny Oquendo's former wife -- after Oquendo was found guilty Friday of murdering her daughter in Troy in 2015: "I'll never hold my child. I'll never be a grandmother. There's no time that can fill the empty space that he's left me in my heart ... Johnny, God's got a place for you and not in his kingdom. There's a place you will be going below, reserved in Hell." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [Spectrum]
+ Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove on Andrew Botts, the ADA who prosecuted the case and the subject of criticism from the trial judges for procedural issues: "He is the consummate professional, and this verdict bears out all the hard work he put into the case." [Spectrum]
+ Oquendo's attorney says he's planning to appeal. [TU]

Cuomo admin accused of not responding to sexual harassment complaint
The woman who's accused former Empire State Development Corp. regional president Sam Hoyt of sexually harassing her alleges in a lawsuit that the Cuomo administration exhibited "deliberate indifference" to her complaints about the state official. Cuomo admin counsel Alphonso David called the allegation "patently and demonstrably false." [NY Post] [NYT]

Local ethics boards
A Times Union review of local municipal ethics boards around the Capital Region "revealed many of the panels meet only 'as needed' and do not update their codes or proactively conduct investigations -- throwing them into a state of dormancy that can last years." [TU]

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Jury deliberating in the murder of Noel Alkaramla, Gillibrand says Bill Clinton should have resigned, Bow Tie suing Troy over 1MSq

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla
Update: The jury returned Friday and found Oquendo guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder. [TU]

The jury in now deliberating in the the trial of Johnny Oquendo -- accused of killing Noel Alkaramla in Troy, stuffing her body into a suitcase, and dumping it in the Hudson River. During closing arguments, the prosecution admitted its case was circumstantial, but pointed to testimony from neighbors about hearing a thud and seeing a suitcase at the bottom of the steps, video showing a shadowy figure heading to the river, and the testimony of Oquendo's former girlfriend that the suitcase belonged to him. The defense attacked the credibility of the former girlfriend, arguing her history of mental illness, work as a psychic medium, and possible axe to grind cast serious doubt on her testimony. [News10] [Troy Record] [TU] [Spectrum]

Republican tax plan
+ Five Republican members of New York's House delegation voted against the Republican tax plan that passed Thursday, including Elise Stefanik and John Faso. (Their objection was the removal of the deduction for state and local taxes.) [TU]
+ Andrew Cuomo said the four New York Republicans who voted for the plan are "treasonous" and tried to argued that John Faso's "no" vote wasn't enough -- that he should have resigned in protest. The state's Republican delegation pushed back on Cuomo's claims that he had been contact with them and that they told him their leadership were pushing them to vote "yes." [Politico x2]

Albany and sanctuary cities
Following the feds' warning this week that Albany's "sanctuary city" policies could endanger its federal funding, Kathy Sheehan appeared on Fox News Thursday night to spar with Tucker Carlson over the issue. [Fox News]

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Faso/Stefanik to vote no on tax reform, Albany receives DOJ warning about sanctuary status, 50 foot spruce headed for ESP


Faso/Stefanik on tax reform
Both John Faso and Elise Stefanik have announced they will not support the House Republican tax reform legislation when it comes up for vote today. [TU][Stefanik.house.gov]

Albany receives DOJ warning
Mayor Kathy Sheehan has been warned by the Department of Justice that Albany's status as a sanctuary city puts the city at risk of losing federal grant funding. [TU]

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Absentee ballots decide Troy races, Saratoga Charter reform may be defeated, star witness in Oquendo murder trail claims to communicate with the dead

Explosion causes fire at bottling plant
Fire officials say an exploding propane tank on a forklift at the Pepsi bottling plant in Latham is responsible for the fire that broke out at the plant at around 5 am. There were no injuries.

Oquendo murder trial
Tuesday in the Oquendo murder trial:

+Jurors saw the suitcase where prosecutors say they found the body of Noel Alkaramla. [WNYT]

+A star prosecution witness, Oquendo's former girlfriend, was expected to give testimony that would connect Oquendo to the suitcase, but but her credibility was called into question as the defense pointed out her admitted drug us, mental health problems, sexual contact with animals and claims that she communicates with the dead. [Record][TU]

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Investigation of alleged Morse domestic incident turned over to State Police, change in leadership of Schenectady casino, school recess recession

Shawn Morse
Cohoes police say they're turning the investigation of the alleged domestic incident between mayor Shawn Morse and his wife over to State Police. "A person familiar with the case" tells the Times Union that the three Cohoes police officers who originally responded filed a domestic incident report that would theoretically involve statements from the people involved -- that doc has not been made public. From a Facebook post by Morse: "If you believe I'm unfit to be your mayor over this, I will resign." [Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

Saratoga Springs charter vote and absentee ballots
Three members of the Saratoga Springs City Council voted Monday to authorize the city to spend up to $5,000 on an attorney to monitor the counting of absentee ballots for the charter change vote. The commissioners -- John Franck, Michelle Madigan, and Skip Scirocco, who have been opposed to the city changing its form of government -- didn't notify mayor Joanne Yepsen or fellow commissioner Chris Mathiesen of the meeting, and they faced an irked crowd of public commenters at the midday meeting. Bob Turner, who had been chair of the charter review commission, accused the commissioners of using public money to advance their own personal and political interests. The whole charter review process has been an ongoing drama. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Spectrum] [Daily Gazette]

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Scrutiny of police response to Cohoes mayor's home, gaps in local infant mortality, proposed investments in Arbor Hill and Hamilton Hill, lost film wedding couple found

Shawn Morse
The Times Union reports that Cohoes police responded to the home of Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse Friday morning, and according to a police record, Morse's wife initially alleged to dispatchers that he had grabbed her by the throat and thrown her to the ground. From a statement released by Morse: "The claims made in the Albany Times Union are patently false." And in a Facebook post, Morse said he and his wife had been arguing "as we try to deal with the difficulties of raising our 15 year old." The Times Union reports that a photo posted on Facebook indicates that the Cohoes police captain who was dispatched to oversee the response at the Morse residence went on a social outing with his wife, Morse, and Morse's wife at the Rivers Casino Saturday night. [TU] [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

Gaps in infant mortality
Sara Foss is looking at infant mortality in the Capital Region, and notes that Albany County has the highest African-American infant mortality rate in the state -- 23.2 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 4.7 deaths per 1,000 for white babies. [Daily Gazette]

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Things get weird in Troy murder trial, talking with new Common Council members, video game makers call for tax breaks

Veterans Day is Saturday, but the federal observed holiday is Friday.

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla
+ Things got weird(er) Thursday in the trial of Johnny Oquendo for the death of Noel Alkaramla. Oquendo's attorney asked a prosecution witness -- who knew both Oquendo and Alkaramla -- if she and Oquendo had broken up because she had sex with a dog. The defense then alluded to mobile phone video and photos, the woman said any photos were made after they broke up, and the Oquendo's attorney asked if she needed to see the videos to refresh her memory -- and after a recess -- she ended up taking the 5th. [TU] [Troy Record]
+ Probably more important to the case is the issue of whether some DNA evidence will be allowed. (Geoff Redick has been posting detailed updates of the trial -- along with some explanations about procedure -- on Twitter.) [Spectrum] [@geoffredick]

AG review of Rensselaer County DA
It sounds like the state Attorney General's grand jury review of the Rensselaer County DA's handling of the fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin by Troy police is comparing that case with an earlier case that involved a much longer investigation. [TU]

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Teen shot in Albany, Rensselaer County deputy fired after arrest, absentee ballots will decide Rensselaer races & Saratoga charter

Teen shot in Albany
A 17-year- old boy is recovering from an abdominal wound after he was shot on Hunter Avenue in the city at around 4 pm on Wednesday. [WNYT]

Active shooter training
The Clifton Park Library held an active shooter drill on Wednesday. [Gazette]

Guns
"All of these mass killings are senseless -- and yet they happen again and again"-- Chris Churchill on the Texas church shooting. [TU]

Absentee ballots will decide Rensselaer County races
Several Rensselaer County races, including the county executive race, will be decided by absentee ballots on Monday.[TU]

Saratoga Springs charter reform
Saratoga Springs residents will have to wait two weeks for a decision on reforming the city charter, while absentee ballots are counted. [Spectrum]


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New Yorkers say no to Constitutional Convention, Albany's Sheehan will serve a second term, gorilla suit clad criminal attempts McDonald's robbery, six tons of turkey

Election results
+The proposed Constitutional Convention was soundly defeated in Tuesday's election.[NYT]
+Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan will serve another term.[TU]
+Paula Mahan will service a sixth term as Colonie supervisor. [TU]
+Democrat Meg Kelly will be the next mayor of Saratoga Springs. [Spectrum]
+Republican Steve McLaughlin declared victory in the race for Rensselaer County Executive, but with absentee votes not yet counted, and a less than 1,000 votes separating them, Democratic candidate Andrea Smyth is calling for a recount. [WNYT]
+Three Democratic incumbents on the Schenectady City Council held on to their seats. [Gazette]
+Democrats regained control of the Troy City Council with victories by Anasha Cummings, David Blissember, TJ Kennedy and Colleen Murtagh Paratore.[Record]

+Here are more results [AOA]

Moving election day to the weekend
Paul Tonko is one of the representatives behind a Federal effort to move election day to a weekend. [TU]

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It's Election Day, many stories about guns, focus on suitcase in Troy murder trial, Chick-fil-A landing in the area

Election Day
+ It's today, of course. Polls are open until 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website.
+ A reminder that there are three statewide ballot questions on the backside of this year's ballot, including the question about a constitutional convention. So don't forget to flip the ballot over.

Guns
+ The Albany County Sheriff's Office says a Knox man is facing multiple weapons charges after authorities allege they found a collection of weapons at his home -- including grenades, a grenade launcher, and explosives. Albany County sheriff Craig Apple says the man's wife had called 911 worried he might kill himself, and authorities tracked him down at East Greenbush motel where he allegedly had an AR-15 and 50 rounds of ammunition. Apple on the collection of weapons at the man's home: "It was an insane scene." [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum] [TU]
+ Genville police say they've now arrested the second suspect in the Glenville gun shop burglary. Police also say the total number of guns stolen is thought to be 67 -- and about 20 of them have been recovered. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ Kirsten Gillibrand, on the floor of the Senate, on the mass shooting at a Texas church this past weekend: "Plain and simple, Americans are being slaughtered, and Congress is refusing to protect them." [TU]
+ Chris Churchill on the country's mass shootings: "They are weaklings who shoot to feel empowered. They are misanthropes jealous of happiness. The Sutherland Springs killer massacred children, for God's sake." [TU]
+ More than 80 people attended a Saratoga County Sheriff's Office workshop Monday about how to protect themselves during a mass shooting event. [Daily Gazette]

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Election Day prep, concern about elimination of historic tax credit, arrest in Glenville gun store burglary, worms and cow-milking robots

Election Day
It's Tuesday, as you know:
+ A look at the three statewide ballot questions that will be on the back of everyone's ballots, including the question about whether to have a constitutional convention. [TU]
+ Election issue highlights from around the state. [Politico NY]
+ Saratoga Springs voters will choose whether to change the city's form of government. [Daily Gazette]
+ A profile of the race between Peter Crummey and Julian Schreibman for seven-county state Supreme Court judgeship that includes this area. [TU]
+ The fight over absentee ballots in the Albany's 11th ward has prompted a judge to order the ballots for the general election to not be counted until there's hearing about their validity. (It may not matter if the Common Council race isn't within the margin of the absentees.) [TU]

Republican tax plan
+ Local developers and officials say the potential elimination of the federal historic tax credit could have a big effect on this area, where the credit's been used to renovate many old buildings. [TU]
+ A proposed new tax on some private college endowments could hit schools such as Skidmore and Union. [Daily Gazette]

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New York reaction to Republican tax plan, ICE arrest in Saratoga Springs, Rensselaer County exec debate, which jobs after learning to code?

Republican tax plan
Two provisions of the tax plan unveiled by House Republicans Thursday that will be get a lot of attention in here in New York: the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes, and the capping of the property tax, and the capping of the mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes at $500k and property taxes at $10k. [NYT]

Reaction clips:
+ Elise Stefanik: "I will be working with my colleagues in the New York delegation to improve this plan to provide real tax relief for New Yorkers and to address the issue of state and local tax deductions." [Stefanik office]
+ John Faso: "I remain concerned about the elimination of the deduction for state income taxes and will continue to advocate for such a policy and ensure this plan works for New York middle class families." [Faso office]
+ Paul Tonko: ""While I am just beginning to analyze this 429-page tax bill, it is already clear that this would be a massive giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest families at the expense of America's middle-class and working families who haven't gotten a real raise in decades." [Daily Gazette]
+ Andrew Cuomo: "It affects about 12 states the hardest. All 12 states happen to be states that are so-called blue states. And not that I'm going to succumb to the conspiracy theory, but it's a heck of a coincidence." [Cuomo admin]

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla
Thursday included testimony from two prosecution witnesses -- and, a described by Geoff Redick, a "chaotic string of objections, private discussions, and long breaks away from the jury." [Troy Record] [Spectrum]

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Skidmore alum killed in Monday's NYC attack, damaging testimony stricken in Oquendo murder trial, former Palace executive director to run Cohoes Music Hall

Schumer / Trump on NYC Attack
At a news conference on Wednesday, Chuck Schumer said Donald Trump should "stop tweeting and start leading" after Trump tweeted this week that the suspected NYC terrorist charged with killing eight people in lower Manhattan on Monday "came into our country what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty." An AP fact check reveals that the lottery program was a bipartisan effort. [TU][NYT]

Skidmore graduate killed in NYC attack
A 2016 Skidmore graduate who was working as a software engineer, analyst and web developer was one of the eight people killed in Monday's attack in lower Manhattan.[Gazette] [TU]

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Siena Poll: 57% would vote against Constitutional Convention, opening statements in Alkaramla murder trial, retrial slated for Skelos and son

New Yorkers on Con Con
The latest Siena Poll shows 57 percent of likely voters across the state would say no to a Constitutional Convention.[TU]

Noel Alkaramla murder trial
A Rensselaer County Court jury heard the details of Noel Alkaramia's death as opening statements were made in the murder trial of her stepfather Johnny Oquendo. [WNYT][TU]

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Allegations and counter allegations over absentee ballots in Albany, complications related to the Hilton Albany labor dispute, supervisor sues his own town, "avalanche of interest" in dough boys

Scrutiny of absentee ballots in Albany
A group of current and former local elected officials appeared outside the the state Board of Elections offices in downtown Albany Monday morning to call for an investigation of the use of increased use of absentee ballots in the Albany primary election -- a few of the political figures targeted in the accusations say they were making it easier for people to vote and the allegations are an attempt to suppress dissenting votes. [TU]

Gun shop robberies
+ The burglary of a Central Ave gun shop early Sunday morning in which five handguns were stolen took just 17 seconds. Police say they don't think it's connected to the recent gun shop burglary in Glenville. [WNYT x2]
+ A gun shop owner tells News10 it's not realistic to lock up a shop's guns every night. [News10]

Albany police and immigrant communities
An important question prompted by an incident in which an Albany police officer allegedly told a person while responding to a domestic violence call, "If you're going to live in this country, you need to learn to speak English": What is the APD is doing to make sure it can communicate with people among the city's diverse array of immigrant communities, some of whom speak languages for which finding a translator might be difficult? [TU]

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Scrutiny of Albany absentee ballots, settlement in county jail death, potential path for convention center land development, $7 million for ASO

Scrutiny of absentee ballots in Albany
A group of forty current and former local elected officials is asking the state Board of Elections and the state Attorney General, and the Albany County DA to look into alleged "wrongful activity in the absentee ballot process" during this year's primary elections in the city and county of Albany. (See reporting by Amanda Fries last week about the allegations.) [TU x2]

Another gun store burglary
+ Colonie police say a gun store on Central Ave was burglarized early Sunday morning and the suspect took five handguns. It's the second gun store robbery in the region over the past week, following the burglary in Glenville. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]
+ There's now a $15k reward offered for info leading to the arrest of two "persons of interest" in the Glenville case. [TU]

Settlement in Albany County jail death
A private medical contractor and Albany County have settled a lawsuit over the death of Troy man in the county jail in 2014 for almost $1.1 million -- a case in which a state commission that reviewed what happened determined the medical care provided to the man, who had suffered a stroke, was "so grossly inadequate ... it shocks the conscience." [TU]

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Faso and Stefanik vote no on federal budget resolution, concerns about Sheridan Hollow microgrid project, shortage of substitute teachers, former brewery building sold

New York and the federal budget
John Faso and Elise Stefanik were among the 20 House Republicans who voted against the federal budget resolution that narrowly passed Thursday. Both cited the potential elimination of the tax deduction for state and local taxes as a reason for their "no" vote. (New York officials -- including Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer -- have been pushing hard against this provision of the Republican tax plan.) [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Microgrid plant in Sheridan Hollow
The New York Power Authority says it will be doing a full environmental impact study on the proposed natural gas-fired cogeneration plant at the state's Sheridan Hollow steam facility that would be used to power a microgrid for ESP and other nearby facilities. The plan is meeting resistance from neighborhood and environmental activists worried about local pollution effects and the use of fossil fuels. Former regional EPA administrator Judith Enck says the use of natural gas for the plant is "a terrible mistake." [TU] [Politico NY]

Sex offender to stay confined
The man who tried to kidnap a Saratoga Springs High School cross country runner in 2005 -- and was set to be released from prison today -- will continue to be confined, the the state Corrections and Community Supervision announced Thursday. The state attorney general's office had filed Thursday morning for civil confinement for the man, and a state Supreme Court issued the order later in the day. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Cuomo retuning to Puerto Rico, parol for convict involved in grisly '93 murder, puppy stolen from Crossgates pet store

Cuomo will return to Puerto Rico
Andrew Cuomo is headed back to Puerto Rico today, the second time since the island was hit by Hurricane Maria. [TU]

Albany mayoral race
A look at the three challengers facing off against Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan in the upcoming general election. [TU]

State to study New York's cancer disparity
Andrew Cuomo was in Glens Falls on Wednesday to announce an effort to help reduce cancer in parts of the state where it is highest. Cuomo said cancer rates are 20 percent higher in Warren County than in New York City, and said researchers will be examining those trends to find the reason for the disparity. [News 10][Post Star]


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Schenectady budget narrowly passes, persons of interest questioned in gun shop robbery, Cuomo signs e-cigarette ban, no clowns on campus

Schenectady budget
The Schenectady City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday to pass an $85.2 million budget that contains a 1 percent tax cut. [Gazette][TU]

Foam spill
Damage from a foam spill due to a fire suppressions malfunction a Commutair hanger at Albany International Airport could cost millions of dollars. [TU]

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Schumer and Cuomo push back on Congressional tax plan, Bow Tie looking for refund on 1 Monument Square, fiber optic Saratoga?, designing the Cohoes riverfront

New York vs. the Congressional Republican tax plan
Chuck Schumer and Andrew Cuomo made a rare joint appearance Monday outside a home in Selkirk to push back against the tax plan moving through Congress that would remove the deduction for state and local taxes. Cuomo called it "an attempted death blow" to the state. And Schumer described eliminating the deduction as "double taxation on the middle class." The offices of John Faso and Elise Stefanik said the local Republican Congress members don't support the elimination of the deduction. [Politico NY] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

1 Monument Square
In its letter canceling its land development agreement for 1 Monument Square, Bow Tie is demanding the return of its $60k deposit and the reimbursement of $186k it says it spent on the project. [TU]

Teachers and students
There's research that indicates that students of colors perform better in school when they have at least a few teachers who are people of color -- yet people of color make up small percentages of the teaching workforce in districts such as Albany and Schenectady. [TU]

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Cardi B booted by Albany hotel, congestion concerns in Colonie, ethics climate at Capitol "really is not good," work begins on River Street building conversion

Cardi B
Following her show at the TU Center Saturday, Cardi B and her associates were booted from the Hilton Albany after alleged complaints about noise and the odor of marijuana. The rapper said on Instagram that no one in her group was smoking, and attributed their removal to racism (she's since removed videos about the incident). Albany police say they could smell marijuana in the hotel, but there was no evidence it came from rooms connected to Cardi B and the decision to have her group removed was the decision of the hotel. [News10] [TMZ] [TU] [Spectrum]

Constitutional convention
Surveying the various perspectives on whether voters should vote yes or no on whether to have a state constitutional convention, and the "pretty strange bedfellows" created by the topic. [Daily Gazette x2]

Colonie supervisor election
+ An overview of the issues in the race for Colonie supervisor, in which incumbent Democrat Paula Mahan is facing Republican Albany County legislator Frank Mauriello. [TU]
+ Chris Churchill on the traffic, congestion, and development pressures that are the forefront of frustrations in the Capital Region's second most populous municipality. [TU]

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Four Amazon bids from New York, questions about hiring of new Palace leader, pedestrian dies from crash injuries, use of elephants in circuses banned

Amazon bids
+ Here's a snapshot of the Capital Region's bid for Amazon's second headquarters. The pitch was hand delivered to Amazon in Seattle. [AOA] [Biz Review]
+ There were four bids from New York State: the Capital Region, the New York City area, Buffalo/Rochester, and Syracuse/Utica. [Spectrum]

Palace intrigue
Steve Barnes reports that sources tell him that the new head of the Palace Theatre "was hired without input from at least a third of its board of directors and without the outgoing director's knowledge that a search for her replacement had been conducted." [TU]

Sentencing in Albany murder
Gerard Burks -- the man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the beating death of Lori Milks outside the South Mall Towers -- was sentenced to 18.5 years to life in prison. [TU]

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Cyclist dies in crash, Albany to begin search for police chief, pedestrian hit in Niskayuna, Palace names new executive director


Cyclist hit
A cyclist was taken to Albany Med with serious injuries after a crash with a vehicle on Washington Avenue Extension around 5:30 am Thursday. Update: Albany police say the cyclist has died. [WNYT] [APD]

Pedestrian hit in Niskayuana
A pedestrian is in critical condition after he was struck by a car on State Street near Balltown Road in Niskayuna on Wednesday night. [Spectrum]

Albany police chief search
Ten months after former Albany police chief Brendan Cox left his post, the city is hiring a search firm to find a new police chief. [TU]

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Sorting the 1 Monument Square situation, DA calling 1995 Schenectady murder solved, local company says Uber/Lyft have taken almost half of its taxi business

1 Monument Square
+ Talking with a bunch of interests in downtown Troy about how to move forward at the 1 Monument Square site. [The Alt]
+ Sam Judge, the Troy developer and property owner whose lawsuit apparently tripped up the movie theater project, to the Business Review: "The suggestion that the site is doomed or no other reputable developer will develop the site is preposterous." Judge also alleges that Steve Strichman, Troy's commissioner of planning and economic development, threatened the developer's ability to do business in the city if he didn't drop the legal action -- Strichman denies the allegation. [Biz Review x2]
+ Judge to Chris Churchill: "I couldn't in good conscience sit back and watch while parking problems went from bad to worse." [TU]
+ The Madden administration says it's considering options for Riverfront Park access at the 1 Monument Square site, along with staged development. [Troy Record]
+ Cohoes is now trying to make a play for the project -- its director of community and economic development says the city has three sites downtown in mind. [WNYT]

Schenectady murder cold case closed
Schenectady County DA Robert Carney announced Monday that his office has closed the case on the 1995 murder of Suzanne Nauman. The DA says an examination of DNA evidence suggests that the perpetrator was Stanislaw Maciag, who killed himself in prison in 1997. State and city investigators were prompted to look at Maciag's potential involvement by a Daily Gazette editorial that noted the parallels of Nauman's murder to another case. [TU] [Spectrum] [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady police oversight
The state's highest court ruled Tuesday that Schenectady's public safety commissioner does have the authority discipline police officers. [Daily Gazette]

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Looking at the state of assault weapons and the SAFE Act, Rensselaer riverfront part of local Amazon bid, SPAC to reduce ballet residency

Guns
Looking at the number of assault weapons in New York State, its laws about them, and the degree to which they're enforced. [Daily Gazette]

State AG review of Rensselaer County DA
A Rensselaer County assistant district attorney who was fired this month testified Friday before a grand jury as part of the state attorney general's office review of the Rensselaer County DA's handling of the fatal April 2016 fatal Troy police shooting. [TU]

Albany County Land Bank
A look at the progress of the Albany County Land Bank -- now the second biggest in the state -- and the challenges it faces in its mission to get vacant and foreclosed properties back into productive use. [TU]

Amazon
The Rensselaer riverfront is one of the sites highlighted in the Capital Region's bid for Amazon's second headquarters. [Biz Review]

1 Monument Square
ICYMI, as they say: The movie theater project for 1 Monument Square in Troy is off, the Madden administration announced late Friday afternoon. [AOA]

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Guilty pleas in murder cases, more details in alleged Howard Johnson's harassment, talking about Troy trash fee

Guilty plea in Rocks shooting
The man accused of the fatal shooting at Rocks in Albany in the early morning of Thanksgiving last year has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 25 years in prison. He had faced 25 years to life if convicted at trial of second-degree murder. [Albany County DA] [TU]

Guilty plea in Hadley ax murder
The Hadley man accused of using an ax to kill his wife at their home this past May has pleaded guilty second-degree murder. He faces 20 years to life in prison. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Sentencing in fatal crash
The Corinth woman who pleaded guilty in the fatal crash that killed her infant daughter -- prosecutors alleged she was under the influence of drugs at the time -- was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison. [Daily Gazette]

Register to vote
Today is the deadline to register to vote for the November election. It's also the deadline to switch your party affiliation if you want to vote in next year's primaries. [NYS BOE]

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Lake George HoJo's operator charged with sexually harassing employees, Schenectady County approves budget with 1% tax cut, RPI students to protest for Union control at Homecoming alumni event


Howard Johnson's operator charged with sexually harassing employees
The operator of the Howard Johnson's in Lake George is accused of sexually harassing female employees over the past year. Jonathan LaRock is accused of sexually harassing approximately 15 current and former female employees, some as young as 17-years-old. [Spectrum][TU][Gazette]

Schenectady County budget
The Schenectady County Legislature voted on Wednesday to adopt a $319.83 million 2018 budget that, due to casino revenue, includes a 1 percent tax cut[TU]

Special session
Andrew Cuomo continues to threaten a special session of the legislature, and some legislators say they are good with that, as long as there is a clear agenda. [TU][Spectrum]

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Shooting during neighbor dispute, criticism of coverage of hate group claims, dirt bikes on city streets, 90 years old and still cutting hair

Shot during neighbor dispute
State Police say a Moreau man was shot during a dispute with a neighbor Sunday night -- he was airlifted to Albany Med with serious injuries and is expected to survive. The neighbor is facing charges of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal use of a firearm. A neighbor says she heard five loud noises that sounded like fireworks. [NYSP] [WNYT] [Spectrum]

Albany police West Hill search
Albany police were searching the Central/Lexington area of West Hill Monday following an armed robbery at a mobile phone store (map) in the morning, and they were continuing to survey a nearby spot on Sherman Street where a man had been fatally shot Sunday. [TU]

Register to vote
The deadline to register to vote for the November election -- or to change your party enrollment for next year's primaries -- is this Friday. [TU]

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Two decades for a crime he didn't commit, Cuomo says NY birth control coverage mandate will continue, bill proposes to change Columbus Day

Monday is Columbus Day. Some things are closed, some things are not. Check before you go.

Two decades for a crime he didn't commit
Brendan Lyons talks with Carl Dukes -- the man who served two decades in prison for a 1997 Albany murder he did not commit -- about how he was coerced into a statement by Albany police detectives, the despair he felt after being sent to prison, and how he eventually came to some sort of peace with what happened. [TU]

Albany fatal shooting
Albany police are investigating a fatal shooting on Sherman Street Sunday afternoon (map). A man told News10 that he heard four shots. APD is asking members of the public who might have info to come forward. [APD] [News10] [WNYT]

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Cuomo seeks in-state tuition rates for students from Puerto Rico, Albany schools could take in students from Puerto Rico, Nobel prize work traced back to Wadsworth Center

Tuition for students from Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
Andrew Cuomo is asking New York State colleges to offer in-state tuition rates for students from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. [TU]

Albany schools may take students from Puerto Rico
Officials from the Albany City School District say the district is prepared to take in some new students from Puerto Rico while the island rebuilds after Hurricane Maria. [TU]

Corruption retrials
Corruption retrials of Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver may end up playing out during an election year. [NYT]

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Cuomo says now is the time to discuss gun control, student threat caused Ballston Spa School lockdown,30 year anniversary of October snowstorm

Guns
+In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people and injured more than 500 others, Andrew Cuomo says Trump administration claims that "now is not the time to discuss gun control" are "ludicrous", and claims the administration is afraid to act because they don't want to upset the NRA. [TU]

+Chuck Schumer called on Donald Trump to work work with legislators from both sides of the aisle on gun control in the wake of the shooting in Vegas.[TU]

+A primer on New York gun laws[NYT]


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Reaction to Las Vegas mass shooting, Albany snow shoveling law change approved, gondola project adds high-profile director

Las Vegas mass shooting
+ A Clifton Park woman who was at the concert on the experience of living through the incident, to the Times Union: "At one point, you're listening to a performer you love so much and then next you're on the ground fearing for your safety." [TU]
+ A local man who was at the hotel, to News10 up returning at ALB: "We thought it was a helicopter at first then all of a sudden we see people running and people were bleeding, it was just crazy." [News10]
+ At event in Colonie Monday, Kirsten Gillibrand said Congress hasn't passed a range "common sense" gun policies because it's "too weak and too cowardly" to stand up to the gun manufacturers. [WNYT] [TU]
+ Paul Tonko: "Congress has had many, many opportunities to take up common-sense firearms reform, hundreds of devastating attacks from Columbine to Sandy Hook, and has repeatedly failed to adopt any meaningful protections. That must change." [Daily Gazette]
+ A roundup of more reactions from New York Congressional delegation. [Spectrum]

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Scanning municipal budgets, concerns among immigrants and farms about enforcement, local singer on The Voice

Municipal budgets
+ Kathy Sheehan's proposed 2018 Albany city budget (pdf) includes includes a decrease in spending of less than half a percent and an increase in the taxes of not-quite 1 percent. It also again relies on $12.5 million in "capital city funding" from the state. [TU]
+ Gary McCarthy's proposed Schenectady city budget includes a 1-percent property tax cut, and projects about $2.3 million in revenue from casino payments. The overall proposed budget is $85.24 million, an increase of not quite 1-percent from the 2017 adopted budget. [Daily Gazette] [Spectrum] [TU] [City of Schenectady]
+ Joe Landry's proposed Niskayuna town budget includes a 2-percent reduction in the tax rate and holds spending essentially flat compared to this year. [TU]
+ Homeowners in some sections of Guilderland were unexpectedly hit with double-digit percentage school district tax increases recently because of how the equalization rate was figured for the town. [TU]

Albany County DA
Chris Churchill argues the office of Albany County DA David Soares should show leniency to a veteran facing possible jail time for a burglary charge -- the man suffered from PTSD and substance abuse, and is now getting treatment. [TU]

Immigrants and farms
A look at how complications and uncertainty in the nation's immigration system -- and now concerns about immigration enforcement -- are squeezing New York farms and farm workers. [TU]

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Questions following Glenville's plant's second explosion, Niskayuna students kneel during national anthem, conviction in Schenectady murder, giving random people $100

Glenville explosion
Glenville supervisor Chris Koetzle said the explosion at Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions Thursday morning -- the second major explosion in a year -- is evidence the facility should move from its location along the Mohawk River. The company says it's stopped manufacturing a kerosene solution that contributed to the blast. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Taking a knee
Six Niskayuna High School football players and one cheerleader kneeled during the national anthem ahead of their game with Guilderland Thursday night. Said one of the players to the Daily Gazette: "The reason is there are some social injustices happening in this nation. And, yeah, OK, I'm just 16, I'm just a high school senior -- but it's my job, just like it's anyone else's, to be a voice and to speak against those injustices. I feel like it's my job to speak." [News10] [Daily Gazette]

Taxes
The Cuomo has released projections of how much it figures the proposed Republican federal tax plan would cost New Yorkers if the deduction for state and local taxes is eliminated. In the Capital Region, the Cuomo admin estimates some 160,000 taxpayers would face an average increase of $3,088. [NYT] [Cuomo admin]

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Explosion at asphalt plant, NY to send troopers to Puerto Rico, deer that attacked Troy man was rabid, CDTA plan for regional taxi system

Explosion at asphalt plant
Schenectady police blocked Freemans Bridge Road this morning after an explosion at an asphalt plant . Two men died last year in another explosion at the plant, and the company was fined by OSHA for safety violations in connection with that incident. [Gazette][WNYT][TU]

Puerto Rico
Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that one hundred New York state troopers will be sent to Puerto Rico and will be deputized to carry out law enforcement activities there. [WNYT][TU]

Cuomo on tax reform plan
Andrew Cuomo on Donald Trump's proposed tax reform: "It is the height of hypocrisy. You have an administration saying I want to cut taxes and now literally they want to tax you on the taxes that you pay." [Daily News]

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Commisso Jr. won't campaign on Independence line, two displaced by Rotterdam fire, Schenectady County announces Street Crime Task Force,Troy man rescued from deer attack


Commisso
Frank Commisso Jr. announced Tuesday that he will not actively campaign for votes on the Independence Party line in the Albany Mayoral general election. [TU]

Two displaced in Rotterdam Fire
A two-alarm fire displaced two residents of an apartment complex and damaged a swimming pool installation business in Rotterdam

Street crime task force
Schenectady County leaders announced a Street Crime Interdiction Task Force, composed of officers from the Sherif's Department and municipal police departments, to focus on high crime areas in the county. ]Gazette][Spectrum]


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Troy murder trial delayed over location tech evidence, Skelos conviction overturned , UAlbany as "an anchor institution for our community"

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla
The trial of Johnny Oquendo -- accused of killing Noel Alkaramla in Troy in 2015, putting her body in a suitcase, and dumping it in the Hudson River -- was set to start Tuesday, but it's been delayed until late October in order for the judge to hear arguments over the admissibility of mobile phone location data from a Google service. [Troy Record] [TU]

Crime
The FBI released crime statistics from its Uniform Crime Reporting program for 2016, and they indicate there was an uptick in violent crimes in the city of Albany compared to the previous two years. [FBI] [Daily Gazette]

Skelos conviction overturned
A federal appeals court has overturned the corruption convictions of former state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos. [NYT]

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New casinos lagging revenue predictions, alleged election shenanigans, the 1 Monument Square drama, a really big pumpkin

Casinos
+ All three of the new full casinos in New York State are behind projections for revenue -- and, as a result, also behind projection on the amount of money they'd be providing to municipalities. A breakdown of the numbers. [TU x2]
+ A few different views on the effect of the casino in Schenectady so far. [TU]
+ See also: The Daily's Gazette's tracking of Rivers revenue. [Daily Gazette]

Puerto Rico
New York State is coordinating a donation drive to assist Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday: "Look, to our colleagues in the federal government, I humbly suggest that at this time instead of arguing with football players, instead of obsessing about how to take health care from the poor in this country, why don't we put the politics aside and focus on helping Americans in desperate need." [TU] [NYS] [Politico NY]

South Glens Falls school bus incident
The South Glens Falls transgender teen who was ordered off a school bus last week after not complying with an order from the bus driver to sit with the girls: "I don't hate the bus driver for what he did ... I believe a lot of instances like this come from a place of ignorance." [News10]

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Trucks destroyed in Voorheesville explosion, students defend transgender teens on school bus, charges in crash with cyclist, significant downtown Albany resident project facing redesign

Voorheesville explosion
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says an explosion at a state Department of Transportation site in Voorheesville Friday morning destroyed three dump trucks worth an estimated $500k. Neighbors reported hearing multiple explosions. The cause hasn't been determined, but investigators are calling it suspicious. [TU] [News10] [Spectrum]

South Glens Falls school bus incident
Students on a South Glens Falls school bus came to the defense of two transgender students this week when during an incident captured on video in which the bus driver kicked the two students off the bus. The district superintendent says the bus driver was wrong and "we're going to use this as a learning experience." [TU] [News10]

Puerto Rico
Andrew Cuomo, a group of state officials, and experts from the New York Power Authority are headed to Puerto Rico to survey damage from Hurricane Maria and offer assistance. [TU]

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Albany assessment error cost $90 thousand, Father's Day shooting suspect arrested, pair of teens suspects in fatal Mechanicville shooting, Egg to get $4 M shell


Albany assessment mistake cost $90,000
A mistake by the former Albany assessor cost the city about $90 thousand. Investigation into the mistake showed 9 of 27 properties granted commercial or mixed use tax exemptions did not qualify for the exemption.

Algae in Albany reservoir
The Basic Creek Reservoir in Westerlo, which is Albany's backup water source, has been affected by an algae bloom that has been a problem in bodies of water around New York State. [TU][WNYT]

Albany mayoral primary breakdown
Kathy Sheehan took 12 of the city's 15 wards in last weeks mayoral primary, with Carolyn McLaughlin taking two and Frank Commisso Jr, winning just his own ward.

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Cuomo blasts latest Obamacare repeal effort, New York grants $38 million to SUNY Poly, Shen agreement to sell controversial lot to Clifton Park


Cuomo blasts new Obamacare repeal effort
Andrew Cuomo voiced opposition on Tuesday to the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare and said if there is not replacement for the plan by October 1, New York stands to loose up to $2.6 billion in federal aid to hospitals that serve the uninsured. [TU]

$38 million for SUNY Poly
A week after it received a $25 million loan from the State University of New York, SUNY Poly's real estate arm will get a $38.5 million grant from New York State to help pay for its $324 million computer chip manufacturing research facility. [TU]

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Meyer concedes Rensselaer County exec race, police department transparency criticized, arrest over dog left in hot car

Rensselaer County exec election
Christopher Meyer has formally conceded the Republican and Conservative primaries to Steve McLaughlin in the race for Rensselaer County exec. (Meyer would have needed an unusually large share of the outstanding absentee votes to make up the election day gap with McLaughlin.) McLaughlin will face Democrat Andrea Smyth and Green Party candidate Wayne Foy in the general election. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Schenectady shooting
Schenectady police say a 15 year old was shot in the leg around 10 am in Hamilton Hill (map). SPD detectives were reviewing video from the multiple cameras in the area. The shooting was across the street from a new $18 million affordable housing development and it appeared a stray bullet had shattered window there. [Spectrum] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]

Police transparency
The New York Civil Liberties Union reports that of 23 police departments around the state from which it requested records on topics such as use of force, just one delivered the info without an administrative appeal or lawsuit. That group of 23 included the departments from the four core cities of the Capital Region. [NYCLU] [TU]

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Plea for info on serious downtown Albany hit and run, proposal to crack down on credit reporting agencies, Albany considering sale of Coeymans land, riding the rails in old-school style

Pedestrian injured in Albany hit and run
A 58-year-old man said he was hit by a vehicle while crossing Broadway in downtown Albany Friday afternoon -- then kept going. Albany police say they don't have many details, only that the vehicle was silver. The man who was hit -- Louis Sanford Jr., who works at the Pearl Street Diner -- suffered serious injuries. [News10] [TU x2]

Credit agency crackdown
The Cuomo admin is proposing stricter state rules for reporting agencies -- such as Equifax -- that would regulate the agencies more like banks and insurance companies. [NYT]

Cuomo trip to US Virgin Islands
+ Andrew Cuomo visited the US Virgin Islands Friday and said the state would be sending New York National Guard and State Police personnel there to assist with recovery efforts. [TU]
+ Jimmy Vielkind on Cuomo's trip: "Foreign travel is not an explicit part of governing a U.S. state, but upwardly mobile governors have frequently found reasons to venture abroad and gain some standing to talk about foreign affairs." [Politico NY]
+ Steve McLaughlin: "He'll spend more time on that airplane than he did in Hoosick Falls when we had a water contamination issue." [News10]

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Lawsuit over Albany wrongful imprisonment, questions about inspector's whereabouts in Jay Street fire case, proposal to redevelop Playdium site

Lawsuit over Albany wrongful imprisonment
Two men wrongfully convicted of an Albany murder -- and who spent almost two decades in prison as a result -- are suing the city of Albany a group of former Albany police detectives alleging police used fabricated evidence and coercion to get incriminating statements. [TU]

Jay Street fire
Investigators have street surveillance video that allegedly shows Schenectady city code inspector Kenneth Tyree at a different location for some of the time that he's said he was at the inspection for 104 Jay Street -- and at a pre-trial hearing Thursday an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified that Tyree told him didn't have an explanation. Tyree faces multiple charges related to the inspection of the Jay Street building and the fatal fire there. [Daily Gazette]

Watervliet firefighter and police officer facing possible discipline
A Watervliet firefighter and police officer are both facing possible disciplinary action -- and the firefighter a harassment charge -- after an incident involving a third man outside a Stewart's that allegedly involved a thrown cup of hot coffee. The third man tells News10 the dispute is a tangent (via Facebook) of the situation surrounding former Watervliet police officer Joshua Spratt. [Troy Record] [TU] [News10]

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Schumer announces deal for "Dreamers", charges dropped for double homicide suspect, SUNY Poly gets $25 million bailout, water taxi coming to Schenectady

Schumer meets with Trump on DACA
Following a dinner with Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer announced a deal to protect nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.[TU]

Unsettled Albany council races
Judd Krasher is holding out for absentee ballot totals before admitting defeat in the 11th Ward primary election. Incumbent 3rd Ward Councilman Ron Bailey says he'll be continuing to the general election on the Working Families and Independence parties' lines. [TU]

Charges dropped in double homicide
A judge has dismissed all charges against the suspect who was alleged to be the ring leader in the killings of two Troy roommates earlier this year, saying there was not sufficient evidence to support the indictment of 27 year old Cresencio Salazar.
[TU]

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Sheehan takes Albany primary, Schenectady D.A. named Troy special prosecutor, TU Center bans elephant acts

Primary results
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan easily defeated primary challengers Frank Commisso Jr. and Carolyn McLaughlin on Tuesday. Here's a look at more of Tuesday's Albany primary results. McLaughlin told a a crowd she still believed in a bright future for Albany but said it couldn't be business as usual. Commisso Jr., who has the Independence Party line, said he will make decisions about November over the next few days. Only two votes separated the candidates in Albany's Green Party mayoral primary. [Spectrum] [AOA] [TU] [TU]

Rensselaer County exec
Steve McLaughlin is ahead of Christopher Meyer in the Republican primary for Rensselaer County executive by 339 votes. McLaughlin declared victory Tuesday, but Meyer didn't concede. [Rensselaer County BOE] [TU]

Schenectady DA named special prosecutor in Troy case
Schenectady county DA Robert Carney has been named the special prosecutor in the investigation into the Troy police shooting of parole absconder Dahmeek McDonald in August. [TU]

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It's primary day, McLaughlin questions Albany mayoral poll, ICE resumes arrests in Saratoga, 1 Monument Sq project pulled from agenda

Primary Day
+ Polls are open from noon to 9 pm.
+ Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website.
+ Don't know which offices and candidates are on the ballot where you live? Check with your county Board of Elections website (here's Albany County).
+ Sara Foss: "We all want better political candidates and better politicians, but unless we turn out and vote we're never going to get them." [Daily Gazette]

Albany mayoral primary
+ Candidate interviews: Carolyn McLaughlin | Frank Commisso Jr. | Kathy Sheehan.
+ On Monday, Carolyn McLaughlin publicly questioned the methods used in the Siena poll that indicated Kathy Sheehan has a large lead over McLaughlin and Frank Commisso Jr. [TU] [Spectrum]

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Preparing for Primary Day, push to reduce grace period for clearing snowy sidewalks, rising tide for Castleton?

Primary Day
Primary Day is Tuesday:
+ An overview of key races around the Capital Region, many of them in the city of Albany. [TU]
+ Kathy Sheehan continues to have a relatively large lead in the Albany Democratic primary for mayor, according to a new Spectrum/Siena poll. [Spectrum] [SRI]
+ A look at where the Albany mayoral candidates stand on the future of the city landfill, which is projected to close in early 2023. [TU]
+ An overview of the seven people running for three Albany city judge seats. [TU]
+ A look at the primaries in Schenectady County. [Daily Gazette]

Don't know what's on the ballot Tuesday for where you live -- or where to vote? Check with your county board of election website.

Steve McLaughlin
Another turn in the recent drama surrounding state Assemblyman/Rensselaer County exec candidate Steve McLaughlin and a staffer. [TU]

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Response to Hurricane Irma, Habitat looking at West Hill project, state's highest court rules against assisted suicide, Amtrak upgrades

Hurricanes
+ Talking with local members of a New York State urban search and rescue team that's headed to Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. [WNYT] [Spectrum]
+ A New York Air National Guard air rescue wing based on Long Island is headed to the Caribbean to assist with hurricane recovery. [Daily Gazette]
+ Direct flights from Florida to ALB are sold out through Sunday. [TU]
+ The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society has taken in a group of dogs from Texas to help open up room in shelters following Hurricane Harvey. [WNYT]

Rensselaer County exec election
The recently surfaced recordings of an argument between Steve McLaughlin and a member of his state Assembly staff were one of the big topics during a Spectrum-hosted Rensselaer County executive Republican primary debate between McLaughlin and deputy county exec Christopher Meyer. Other topics: infrastructure, Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, the SAFE Act, and opioids. [TU] [Spectrum] [Troy Record]

Habitat looking at West Hill
Habitat for Humanity Capital District is looking at the possibility of a large mixed-use project in Albany's West Hill neighborhood similar to the recent Habitat project in Sheridan Hollow. [TU]

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New York leads federal DACA lawsuit, SUNY Poly withholding lease information, final Albany mayoral primary debate

Schumer on DACA repeal
Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Donald Trump's decision earlier this week to repeal DACA, was "As heartless as it was brainless'', and expressed guarded optimism that congress would be able to come up with a legislative solution to avoid mass deportations. [TU]

NY leads lawsuit over DACA
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of government watchdog group Common Cause, alleges New York's longtime practice of purging voter roles to remove inactive voters is disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters.[TU]

SUNY Poly withholding lease information
Fuller Road Management-- the non-profit development arm of SUNY Poly, is refusing to release details of lease agreements with tenants at the ZEN building in Albany, despite acknowledging that it is subject to New York's Freedom of Information Law. The NYS Attorney General is investigating an alleged inflated lease for a company that later received some lucrative state contracts. [TU]


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Siena poll: 59 percent of NY voters say confederate monuments should stay up, Cuomo on DACA decision:"feeding the beast of bigotry red meat", grand jury will examine D.A.'s handling of Troy police involved shooting

Siena Poll
A new Siena poll shows 59 percent of voters statewide believe confederate monuments should stay up. In the same poll, fifty percent of voters statewide gave Donald Trump an F for his handling of Charlottesville, and, by a slim margin, voters polled oppose giving neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups permits to hold marches, and shows him with a 29 percent favorability rate in NY. [TU][Spectrum][

DACA
Dozens of people rallied in Wallenburg Park on Tuesday to protest Donald Trump's decision to remind DACA. Andrew Cuomo called said the reminding DACA "is just feeding the beast of bigotry red meat."[WNYT][NYSoP]

Abelove
A grand jury will investigate Troy D.A. Joel Abelove's handling of the police shooting of Edson Thevenin following a car pursuit in April of 2016. Meanwhile lawmakers in Rensselaer County have rejected a measure to approve up to $50 thousand dollars to help cover Abelove's legal expenses in the case. [WNYT][TU]

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New York State readying challenge to feds over DACA, talking with voters in Albany mayoral race, Saratoga Race Course posts record bet total

DACA
If the Trump administration proceeds with a floated plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program -- who covers undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children -- Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman say that New York State "will sue to protect the 'dreamers' and the state's sovereign interest." [NYT] [Cuomo admin]

Stillwater mayor allegations
+ Stillwater village mayor Rick Nelson resigned Friday, the village announced this past weekend, after his arraignment on child pornography charges. [Daily Gazette]
+ Nelson's arrest was at least the fifth time he's faced some sort of charge or complaint alleging the victimization of children, the Times Union reports. [TU]

Steve McLaughlin
+ The Times Union posted audio of an argument between state Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and a staffer in which she accuses him of physically hurting her -- but the unnamed staffer told the TU this week McLaughlin didn't physically harm her. [TU]
+ McLaughlin alleges the audio was leaked to damage him in the race for Rensselaer County executive -- his opponent, Christopher Meyer, says he wasn't involved. [Spectrum]

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Troy police investigate pair of mysterious deaths, Albany's Democratic mayoral candidates debate, Union College president to step down

Harvey
+The Red Cross is training volunteers to head to Texas to assist the flooding victims.
+New York is sending additional Air National Guard members to Texas to respond to the flooding from Harvey
+Victory church is collecting funds to send a truckload of supplies and assistance to Houston.
+''When your neighbor's house is underwater, you don't haggle over the price to get into a rescue boat,'' -- Paul Tonko urging fellow Democrats in Congress to approve support for Harvey victims and not succumb to temptation for payback for GOP resistance to help for victims of Hurricane Irene and Sandy.
[Saratogian][TU][WNYT][TU]

Pair of mysterious deaths in Troy
Police found two men dead in a South Troy home early this morning.
An investigation is underway but police initially found no signs of foul play. [TU][WNYT]

Democratic Mayoral Debate
Albany's three Democratic mayoral candidates debated on Tuesday, covering issues like jobs, developing the city waterfront and property taxes for government and not-for-profit entities. [TU][News 10]

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Local volunteers headed to help with Harvey relief, Hoosick Falls residents say they've been forgotten again, man accused of watching people sleep, more than a century of apples

Hurricane Harvey
+ The Red Cross is sending volunteers and supplies from the Capital Region to help with Hurricane Harvey. And it's holding boot camps for new volunteers. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
+ Talking with people who endured Irene flooding six years ago about recovering from such a disaster. [Daily Gazette]
+ Charity Navigator's page about charities and donations for Hurricane Harvey relief.
+ Pro Publica: 5 Tips for Donating After Disasters

Hoosick Falls
People in Hoosick Falls say they feel like they've been forgotten by the state -- again -- following the flooding there earlier this summer. [TU]

Education gaps
A look at the persistent disparities in test scores among groups of students on the state's grade 3-8 tests in the Capital Region's schools. [TU]

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State Police: Glenville man was trying to commit suicide by police, investigation into Prattsville flood relief money, bike share memberships ahead of projections

Hurricane Harvey
+ Looking to help? Houston and Texas-based charities for donations. [Houston Chronicle] [@JiaTolentino]
+ Charity Navigator's page about charities and donations for Hurricane Harvey relief.
+ Pro Publica: 5 Tips for Donating After Disasters
____

Glenville police shooting investigation
State Police said Friday their investigation has concluded that the man fatally shot by police in Glenville July 28 was trying to commit suicide by getting police to shoot him. State Police say Brian Skinner had rushed at responding officers with a knife in a threatening manner, and when he didn't drop the knife after repeated orders, they fired. An officer was also hit in the gunfire, and State Police say it hasn't been determined yet which officer fired that shot. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [WNYT]

Troy police shooting investigation
A group of African American pastors in Troy is calling for the Rensselaer County DA to recuse his office from the investigation into Troy police shooting Dahmeek McDonald August 15. [TU]

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FBI to aid in Troy police shooting investigation, Troy police investigate overnight shooting, Coyote sightings in Loudonville, gun show returns to Saratoga with Hitler memorabilia

Troy police shooting investigation
At the request of Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, the FBI will assist in an investigation of the officer-involved shooting of a parole absconder in the North Central neighborhood last week. [TU]

Troy shooting
Police in Troy are investigating a Wednesday night shooting between Congress and Ferry Streets. [TU]

Coyote sightings in Loudonville
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is warning people about recent coyote sightings in Colonie after a Loudonville woman reported seeing a coyote near her home. [TU][WNYT]