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The Albany County Health Department has a new commissioner...

County Executive Dan McCoy today says Dr. Elizabeth Whalen has been appointed to serve as Commissioner of the Albany County Department of Health on behalf of the more than 300,000 residents of the county.

Dr. Whalen is a public health physician with dual board certification in Internal Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

She succeeds Dr. James Crucetti who resigned in January after 25 years with the Health Department — 22 of them as the county's top doctor.

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

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation, Parks, Agriculture and Markets, and the State Arbor Day Committee, joined state and local officials today for an Arbor Day tree planting event at Albany's Tivoli Lake Preserve.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

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

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

  Two more suspicious fires in the Capital Region involving apparently vacant buildings. 

Two fires, blocks apart, in Schenectady overnight - flames shooting from buildings at 3rd and 6th streets lit up the pre-dawn skies - one of them, confirmed vacant, will have to be torn down. No injuries reported. Both blazes under investigation.

Meanwhile, officials say it could take years to redevelop the site of the massive Jay Street apartment fire in March that left four dead.

  Multiple defects have been found at Capital Region railyards in the latest round of oil train inspections. 

According to Governor. Andrew Cuomo’s office , the inspections showed 84 defects locally in the Colonie, Kenwood and Selkirk rail yards and on tracks between Fonda and Rotterdam.

Two critical defects (those are the most serious) were found after 107 tank cars in the Selkirk Rail Yard were checked. Two shipper violations were issued.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The immediate crisis that resulted when a landslide interrupted the flow of the Normans Kill Creek between two golf courses is over, but environmental restoration is expected to take months...

A hillside near the Normanside Country Club in Bethlehem collapsed somewhere between 8 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday, blocking a significant length of the creek that separates the Normanside Country Club from Capital Hills Golf Course on the Albany side.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A potential flooding disaster averted, Albany city and county officials continue to monitor the situation where the Normans Kill creek flows between two golf courses.

A hillside close to the Normanside Country Club in Bethelehem collapsed somewhere between 8 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday, blocking a significant length of the creek that separates the Normanskill Country Club from Capital Hills Golf Course on the Albany side.

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Pope Francis recently called the Armenian massacre the “first genocide of 20th century.” With many areas marking Genocide Awareness Month, the killings and their aftermath are being discussed tonight at Siena College.

New York has settled for $2.25 million a lawsuit filed by a family that claimed the staff at an upstate New York residential center beat a severely disabled 22-year-old with a stick, neglected him and left him malnourished before he died of pneumonia.

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An upstate county has closed a loophole in state law that could have allowed fracking waste to be dumped in local landfills.

While New York has banned the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas, the state allows landfills to accept out-of-state fracking waste, possibly endangering public health and the environment.

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A 54-year-old woman was struck and killed in a hit and run while crossing Central Avenue in the Town of Colonie, New York last night. The Times Union reports that Renee Bruneau was stuck by a vehicle between Madison and Hudson Avenues and was rushed to Albany Medical Center where she later died. Town police are asking for assistance in locating the owner of the vehicle which was traveling eastbound.

  Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses of all Sizes, Homeowners and Renters in Schenectady are available beginning today. 

Low interest U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans are available to the survivors of the March 6 apartment fire in Schenectady.  SBA personnel will be temporarily available at 105 Jay Street, Room 14, today through Thursday, April 23rd to assist businesses, homeowners and renters affected by the fire.  

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Funeral services were held today for an Albany man who died in police custody.  Donald “Dontay” Ivy died April 2nd after being tased during a confrontation with Albany Police.

Officials say the 39-year old Ivy was walking in the wee hours near his home along Lark Street and Second Street when three officers stopped him. At some point their interaction became physical, and Ivy was Tased. Family members said Ivy suffered from schizophrenia and had heart problems.

Rev. Frank O'Connor, co-Vice President Family Promise of the Capital Region Board of Directors, cuts the ribbon at 783 New Scotland Avenue.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Over the weekend, Family Promise opened a new day center along Albany's New Scotland Avenue. The appearance of the program in the upscale neighborhood has some cheering, others scratching their heads.

Funeral services are scheduled for this morning for an Albany man who died in police custody.

39-year old Donald “Dontay” Ivy died April 2nd after being tased during a confrontation with Albany Police. The incident is being investigated by police internal affairs. A separate probe has been launched by Albany County D.A. David Soares.

Calling hours are at 11 this morning followed by a noon funeral at Greater Saint John’s Church of God in Christ in Albany.

Ivy will be buried beside his mother in Graceland Cemetery in Albany.

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At the same time the District Attorney is launching an investigation, a rally is scheduled this afternoon at the University at Albany to protest the death of Donald "Dontay" Ivy, who died April 2nd after a confrontation with police in Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood.

Travelers in the Capital Region have a new option. New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer unveiled Monday that JetBlue airlines is beginning flights out of Albany December 10th. 

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.

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An upstate New York man accused of helping build an X-ray device he thought would be used to kill people at a mosque and an Islamic center has asked the judge to dismiss charges, saying the entire scheme was concocted by undercover investigators.

Glendon Scott Crawford says in court papers that evidence turned over by federal prosecutors shows that from 2012 until his 2013 arrest, 59 federal and state agents worked on the case and that "no criminal enterprise existed," except as they fabricated it.

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.

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The City of Albany is bidding farewell to a transformative police chief who has won praise for improving police-community relations.

A bagpiper led Steven Krokoff out of police headquarters Friday where fellow officers saluted and paid tribute.

Krokoff, oft-hailed as a "people’s chief," is retiring to be closer to his extended family and to take a job as chief in Milton, Georgia, outside Atlanta.

He joined the Albany Police Department in 1993.  One of the city's youngest chiefs, Krokoff was 40 when he took the job in July 2010.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

For the second time this week, an incumbent Capital Region mayor has decided against seeking another term.

When Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia announced Monday that he would not seek re-election, a window of opportunity opened for a cast of mayoral hopefuls.  City Council President Rodney Wiltshire was first to officially step forward. 

Wiltshire kicked off his mayoral campaign Wednesday. Considered a "rebel" Democrat by some, Wiltshire often has clashed with first-term Mayor Lou Rosamilia and party leaders.

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A  landmark Albany school is moving to smaller quarters.

Saying it's time to stop the financial hemorrhaging, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop Ed Scharfenberger has decided the troubled Bishop Maginn High School will leave its current home, move to the former Cathedral School on Park Avenue, to "build a new beginning" with perhaps new administrators and board members.

Vincentian Institute and Cardinal McCloskey High School merged in 1977, creating “Maginn” in the former McCloskey building.

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Authorities say a person has died after being hit by a freight train near an upstate New York rail yard.

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Voting has been placed on temporary hold throughout one upstate county.

Senior U.S. Judge Lawrence Kahn ruled Tuesday Albany County diluted minority voting power in its 2011 redistricting plan. The Times Union reports Kahn has blocked county officials from proceeding with this year's legislative elections until a new plan is drafted.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia has announced he will not seek re-election in the fall.  Potential candidates were already waiting in the wings — now that Rosamilia's officially out of the race, WAMC takes a closer look at Troy politics.   

Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia will not seek another term, after only one term in office. The Democrat, speaking Monday, said he needed time to dedicate to his faith and family. Rosamilia discussed the announcement with WAMC News.

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