Jessica Bloustein Marshall

Jessica Bloustein Marshall is a Capital Region native with a diverse background in multimedia news reporting and production. After earning a Masters degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University, she served as the Capital District Bureau Chief for WAMC, followed by stints at Newsweek and Time, Inc, MTV News, Mental Floss and Backstage.

She’s also a decorated competitive figure skater, writer, choral singer and mom.

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The Audi A7 parked by the side of the road on the test track in East Greenbush, NY.
Jessica Bloustein Marshall

The rate of traffic crashes in the United States is about three times higher at night than in the daytime. Visibility is a large contributing factor to that statistic. But a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor is leading a study in the Capital Region that may revolutionize the way we drive at night. 

When you think of classic martial arts films, iconic names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li come to mind. But in today's martial arts movie-making universe, actor Byron Mann is the new it-guy. He’s a prolific actor, well-known for his martial arts prowess and memorable fight scenes. He hails from Hong Kong, and earned his stripes in films like Street FighterRise of the Legend, The Man with the Iron Fists and more recently on television in CW’s Arrow. Currently, he has signed on to play a Chinese power broker in AMC’s Hell on Wheels, an epic fictionalized drama about the building of America’s railroads—its fifth season premieres July 18th at 9/8 central. Mann has also taken on roles in the upcoming films Absolution starring Steven Segal and Vinnie Jones, and The Big Short, playing alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.

Jessica Bloustein Marshall/WAMC News

With developers in New York and Massachusetts preparing to break ground on casinos approved by voters and state-appointed commissions, and lobbying under way for more casinos in Connecticut to combat a loss of revenue they fear will come with new casinos in neighboring states, it’s all but certain that there will be a sharp rise in the need for casino employees in the region’s not-too-distant future. 

WAMC News

  Three-time National Champion, two-time Olympian and NBCSports commentator Johnny Weir was in Albany last weekend for a meet and greet with skaters and fans at the Empire State Plaza. WAMC's Jessica Bloustein Marshall caught up with him while he was there.

401(K)2013/Flickr

Many Gen-Xers and Millennials are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the cost of higher education. How are new parents are coping with the rising cost of a college education for their children, while still saddled with their own school debts?

In the year 2030, the average sticker price for a year at a private university could be as much as $130,428. That’s according to recent projections by loan-handlers Campus Partners. Their outlook is pretty bleak for public universities too—which could cost a whopping $41,228 per year.

  The Peace Corps has revealed its enrollment numbers for 2014, and several areas in our region have ranked high on their lists of volunteer-producing locations. 

On the weekend of November 15th, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosted its very first Hackathon – a weekend-long design and developer competition drawing over 500 engineering students from around the country.

The idea was to create something from nothing in 24 short hours, using imagination, innovation, and maybe a little bit of caffeine. Hackathon competitions are a growing trend in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have become a very viable way for companies to recruit future employees.

Rep. Chris Gibson
..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..

From a small country club in his Columbia County hometown of Kinderhook, Chris Gibson easily slid to victory over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge, 65 percent to 35 percent. The win earns the incumbent a third term in Congress.

As John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” blared over speakers, those in attendance at his victory party lauded the retired Army colonel  as a hometown hero. Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, a Republican, says Gibson’s work to bring funding to the district, and his attention to the district’s needs, was what won his support.

Marc Bloustein

  

Hoffman’s Playland in Colonie, New York, is closing this weekend after 62 years. The beloved kiddie park has been a summer destination for three generations of Capital Region residents. Jessica Bloustein Marshall spoke with park owner Dave Hoffman earlier this summer. He says it all started with his grandfather, who bought a parcel of land 6 miles outside of Albany in the 1930s to start a farm.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes of Nippertown.com is here with his early fall musical selections.

1. Frank Jaklitsch and Friends, "Singer of Song" from the album Good Things, playing at Irish 2000 Music & Arts Festival at Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa Saturday at 2:25.

2. Michael Jerling, "The Hard Stuff" from his latest album Halfway Home, playing at Art in the Park at Congress Park in Saratoga Springs Saturday at 3.

3. Mirk, "Forbidden Love" from their album Love, playing at LarkFest on Lark Street in Albany Sept. 20 at .

Caroline Clowers / Via Twitter: @CarClow

  

This week, the president of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, announced that the all-female liberal arts college has revised its admission policy to include transgender students. The move makes it the second single-sex institution in the country to do so, following a similar policy change by the all-female Mills College near San Francisco in August.

Caroline Clowers / Via Twitter: @CarClow

Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley has implemented a formal policy regarding the admission of transgender students. 

During the college's annual Convocation address on Tuesday, President Lynn Pasquerella announced that the all-women's  institution  now welcomes applications from transgender students who identify as female. 

(Airs 8/8/14) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and Politics. On this week’s Gazette:  Governor Andrew Cuomo is tapping his campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said his office is looking into possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering in the activities of the Moreland Commission. Our political observer Alan Chartock weighs in on how these developments might affect November’s election. And, we’ll take a look at a unique new state law enforcement training program.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of Major General Harold Greene, killed yesterday in Kabul after an apparent member of the Afghan security forces turned on him. Major General Green was born in Albany and is a graduate of RPI. He was commissioned in 1980 after graduation. He served as an Army engineer and rose to the rank of two-star general. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death will be undertaken. His remains will be sent back to the United States, although the timing of that flight is still undetermined. 

Wikimedia Commons

Albany Medical Center was recently named one of the Most Wired Hospitals in the nation, according to Hospitals and Health Networks. It is one of 375 hospitals in the United States to receive the designation, which is awarded based on an annual survey of hospitals’ use of technology with regard to clinical patient safety and other areas of hospital management. As part of our regular look at technology in our region, WAMC’s Jessica Bloustein Marshall spoke with Albany Medical Center’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, George Hickman.

commons.wikimedia.org

  The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado destroyed homes and property in central New York, and killed four people.

Violent winds Tuesday clocked in at least 100 miles per hour in the Madison county town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Watson. 

"It's going to be at least an EF2," Watson said. 

commons.wikimedia.org

There are reports of fatalities in the wake of a line of storms, including a confirmed EF2 tornado, that moved through western and central New York Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds that knocked down trees, power lines and several buildings. 

(AP) Work is beginning on a new pedestrian bridge over the Mohawk River in Amsterdam.

When complete, the $16.5 million Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook bridge will connect the city's southern neighborhoods and the Erie Canalway Trail with the city's downtown north of the river.

  Two of the largest employee unions in New York’s Oneida County have endorsed U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna in the upcoming Republican primary on June 24, in the race for the 22nd Congressional District. 

Hanna faces state Assembly Member Claudia Tenney of New Hartford in the primary.

The Rome Lab and U.S. Defense Finance and Accounting Service employees are backing the incumbent Hanna, saying he helped protect jobs as deep cuts hit Defense Department spending. The two unions represent roughly 750 employees on the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome.

    

The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week’s Gazette: New York’s Lieutenant Governor announces he’s not running for re-election, our political observer Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the newly contested race for state comptroller, and we’ll take a look at the first round of heroin antidote drug kits distributed around the state. Jessica Bloustein Marshall hosts.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

  The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week's Gazette: Taxes are shaping up to be on the of the top issues in the 2014 legislative session, our political observer Alan Chartock shares his political predictions for the new year, and we’ll take you to a farm in the Southern Tier with bacteria-resistant Christmas trees.

 

  The city of Albany has FIOS-envy.

"When you think about the opportunity that is presented by FIOS, by this phenomenal product that’s been developed by Verizon," Albany Mayor-Elect Kathy Sheehan says. "And you look at where Albany is at this point in history, we are really poised to be an ideal place for Verizon to make this investment."

  On Sunday, November 10, comic book and pop culture fans from around the region will gather at Albany Comic Con, now in its 6th year. WAMC’s Jessica Bloustein Marshall recently spoke with the man behind the con, show-runner John Belskis, who also owns Excellent Adventures Comics in Ballston Spa. 

For more information and tickets to Albany Comic Con, visit its website

It’s weird to say that it has been a year since Superstorm Sandy hit. It doesn’t feel like it has been a year. Twelve months have indeed gone by, but the memory is still fresh.

Christopher Chen-Lumachrome/Flickr

University at Albany sophomore Jamie Zeno isn’t sure his absentee ballot was counted in last year’s presidential election. He’s from the Upstate New York County of Chenango, between Binghamton and Utica.

Shirley Ann Jackson
RPI

For women today, the opportunities to achieve success is a career in science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM—are undoubtedly greater than they were decades ago. But recent studies and events show American women still face more hurdles and challenges than their male counterparts today. And recently, a Brown University Professor called attention to an alarming lack of Wikipedia entries for influential female scientists. WAMC’s Jessica Bloustein Marshall spoke to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson about women in STEM careers.

By Ron Davis (God of Thunder (videogame) by Adept software, 1993) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

  I don’t know much about video games. I’m not much for playing them. But I nodded my head as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sophomore Jon Ota described to me the video game he and his fellow classmates created.

I’m seriously impressed by Ota’s game, called Hangeki. It was designed and developed from scratch as part of his studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Games and Simulations Arts and Sciences program, and Ota’s team was showing it off to me before RPI’s annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony.

Ahh, Albany, New York. The seat of state government. A center of burgeoning nanotechnology research.  And an icon of the fashion world.

Wait...what? 

Albany? One of the best-dressed small cities in America? That’s the word according to a new survey by the nationwide real estate company Movoto, which ranked Albany No. 7, alongside the couture-conscious small cities of Santa Monica, California, Boca Raton, Florida, and Evanston, Illinois.

Composite image by Dave Lucas/WAMC

  Corey Ellis’s Central Avenue headquarters were relatively quiet Tuesday night as election returns came in. Volunteers worked diligently, despite polls predicting an inevitable loss. They called polls all over the city, practically whispering, as President Obama’s address played on a television in the background.

There was a palpable disappointment in the air when Ellis’s opponent, City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan, declared victory from across town. But as soon as Ellis arrived at his HQ after calling Sheehan to concede, the mood lightened.

Babies are game-changers. When you have one, your home is no longer a crash pad. It’s a nest. When I delivered my first child seven months ago, I was living in a smallish two-bedroom apartment in Queens. In the months leading up to my daughter’s birth, we spent days meticulously acquiring and setting up baby gear. We decorated, baby-proofed and organized. I spent hours researching new parent groups, parent-baby classes, the best neighborhood parks and baby-friendly restaurants in our neighborhood.

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