Albany

It's been 50 years since the cornerstone of Albany's Empire State Plaza was laid in place. A new exhibit at the New York State museum tells the story of Governor Nelson Rockefeller's vision, the history of the location, and the workers who made the project a reality.

William L. Clements Library / University of Michigan

A history class at the University of Michigan recently had the chance to study two unique aspects of American life just before and after the end of the 19th century: African American life in the Albany area after the end of slavery…and the photograph. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to Dr. Martha Jones, the history professor whose class studied the photo albums of Arabella Chapman…and preserved them on line for all to see.

WAMC Composite Photo By Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has made it official: Brendan Cox is the Albany Police Department’s new Chief of Police.

wikipedia.org

Prosecutors say two teenagers and a man have been arraigned on charges stemming from a fatal shooting in Albany earlier this month.

The Albany County D-A's office says a 16-year-old boy and two men, ages 18 and 24, were arraigned in state Supreme Court Wednesday morning on charges that include second-degree murder and attempted murder.

They're charged in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Courtney Yates. Police say the father of six was hit by gunfire shortly after 1 a.m. on May 5 on Lark Street. Two other men, ages 29 and 33, were wounded.

Darius Shahinfar Campaign/Facebook

Albany Treasurer Darius Shahinfar announced today a 5-year savings of $750,000 to city taxpayers.

Shahinfar says the savings will be accomplished by the refinancing of $9.27 million of 2006 bonds, which has lowered the interest rates on those bonds from an average of 5.1 percent to 2.4 percent. In a statement, Shahinfar thanked the Albany Common Council for "quickly approving the necessary authorization for this transaction."

  Frankie Bailey is a Professor of Criminal Justice, she’s also the author of mysteries as well as non-fiction titles that explore the intersections of crime, history, and popular culture.

In her new novel, What the Fly Saw, she looks at the real world of police work and criminal law and speculates on how they might change in the near future.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

  The city of Albany has selected a vendor to install red light cameras at 20 intersections. 

Albany has signed a 3-year deal with GATSO USA to install and operate the cameras, which could be operational in just several weeks.

City officials say the program is more about safety than revenue, stressing it will make everyone on foot or bicycle safer.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A new fund to support arts, education, and cultural programs in the City of Albany was announced today.

4/7/15 Panel

Apr 7, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Professor, Rosemary Armao, and Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain.

Scheduled topics include JetBlue lands in Albany; Boston Marathon bombing trial goes to Jury; Rand Paul to launch presidential campaign; Chris Gibson to possibly run for NY Governor; Iowa and 2016 candidates.

Early Thursday morning, Donald “Dontay” Shaw Ivy died following an encounter with Albany police. Different narratives have unfolded regarding the interaction between officers and Ivy, who was Tased during the struggle. The death has led to a call for justice and a rally outside police headquarters tonight.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Authorities say they're investigating the death of a 39-year-old man who had fought with police officers after being stopped on an Albany street.

Department spokesman Steven Smith says officers on patrol encountered the man around 12:30 a.m. Thursday in the area of Lark Street. Smith says while the officers talked to the man, he became aggressive and fought with them.

Smith says the officers used a stun gun on the man but it appeared to have little effect on him. The man fled on foot but was soon caught and placed in custody.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team came through Albany over the weekend en route to its eighth straight Final Four. Downtown businesses are hopeful major NCAA events will continue coming to town.

College basketball is big business — and good for local business. Times Union Center officials — whose recent bid to host the NCAA men’s tournament in the next few seasons was denied — are hoping the success of the regional women’s tourney final could set the stage for the rights to host future tournaments.

Albany is celebrating Women’s History Month this evening at City Hall - the public is invited.

Speakers will gather in the rotunda of Albany City Hall - Nathaalie Carey, is President of the Albany, New York Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.   "Tonight the leaders of all African-American sororities will be discussing our history, our legacy and our future, in addition to the work that we do right here in the Capital Region."

The Capital District is one of 12 U.S. cities in the running to receive up to $1 Million for a public art project.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Thursday that the entry jointly submitted by the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy has been designated a finalist and the 12 cities have been invited to submit full proposals.

Temperatures across New York and New England hit sub-zero levels Tuesday morning, a day after a storm dumped more than a foot of snow from Buffalo to the Hudson Valley. The Sunday-Monday snowfall has triggered several municipal snow emergencies.

The storm impacted local streets and highways. Numerous accidents were reported Tuesday and tri-city traffic was truly bumper-to-bumper as vehicles inched along for the morning rush hour commute.  But that should change as roadways are cleared.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Downtown Albany is undergoing a major facelift, from new apartments to a major convention center project. Now, more projects are in store for the city's core.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Medical Center President and CEO James Barba have announced a new development project in the city.

New plans for the old LexisNexis site in North Albany: Albany Med plans to move 300 financial services and warehouse employees to the Broadway building.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan:  "They're bring 300 jobs downtown to a great area of the city that is seeing a lot of growth. They've decided to purchase property and voluntarily keep it on the tax rolls."

Listener Essay - Dummy Bunnies On Parade

Dec 18, 2014

  

  "Dummy Bunnies on Parade" can be found in Kevin O'Hara's book, A Lucky Irish Lad. He is also the author of Last of the Donkey Pilgrims: A Man's Journey Through Ireland.

In early October, the mayors of Albany and Troy released their 2015 budget proposals. The road from introduction to enactment has been a rocky one for both municipalities.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As they did in many cities across the region, people lined the streets of New York's capital today for the 59th annual Veterans Day Parade.  Albany's parade stepped off at the corner of Central Avenue and Partridge Street at 11 a.m. Marchers proceeded down Central Avenue past a reviewing stand on the steps of the old NYS Education Building.    

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As the city of Albany struggles to cope with a rash of gun violence and a perceived sense of danger on uneasy streets, there have been public discussions, candlelight vigils, makeshift memorials... and another murder.

On Monday, at approximately 3:45 p.m., officers answered a call at 139 Quail Street, a rough-hewn residential area not far from the state capitol and city hall downtown. Within a short time, a city block was marked with yellow crime scene tape and traffic in both directions detoured.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

How do you make a city more just and equitable? Begin  with a "community conversation".

The Madison Goes LIVE!

Oct 24, 2014
The Madison

Albany's Madison Theater is going to feature live performances.
 

The Madison Theater's  live entertainment venue will open Saturday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.

Dan Laiosa is the Madison's general manager. He says "It's the final phase of our renovations at the theater"

The opening show features live jazz from the Nancy and Spencer Reed Quartet.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The mayors of Albany,  Schenectady and Troy released their 2015 budget proposals Wednesday. Tri-city residents are in for higher taxes. 

Public Domain

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that would allow the president to consider awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to Sgt. Henry Johnson, a World War I hero from upstate New York.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the bill's co-sponsor, says Friday that his measure passed unanimously Thursday. It now goes to the House for a vote. If approved, the legislation goes to the president for consideration.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month recommended awarding Johnson the nation's highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh has lost her bid to run for New York state Supreme Court in the 3rd Judicial District to the Democratic party-backed candidate, county legislator Justin Corcoran.

John Dale was the Albany Police department's first black sergeant and lieutenant.

He became a detective and a supervisor, serving as Chief from 1989 to 1995. The Korean War combat veteran joined the force in 1958 as a ptrol officer and worked his way to the top. Albany activist Alice Green tells the Times Union Dale was well-liked and always cordial, even when they disagreed, and was often called upon to be a liaison between police and the city's black community. He received many awards for his police work and for his commitment to community. John Dale was 80.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan today endorsed judicial delegates supporting Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh for state Supreme Court over the party-backed candidate, county legislator Justin Corcoran.

There is much at stake in the judicial delegates race in Tuesday’s primary: a 14-year term on the Supreme Court in the 3rd Judicial District, covering Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Sullivan and Schoharie counties.

College of St. Rose

Unhappy with what they say is low pay and inconsistent scheduling, more than 300 College of Saint Rose adjunct professors are preparing to get out the vote in their upcoming union election.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

Even after recent tests came back negative, a coalition of environmental groups says oil trains are making people in Albany sick — and they're asking state regulators to investigate.

In the spring, government officials and residents of Albany's South End neighborhoods expressed concern about potential impacts related to crude oil transport and facilities in the area.

People living near the Port of Albany and the rail lines carrying the oil trains say they experienced health problems they believe to be associated with oil and diesel emissions.

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