Capital Region News

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.

Max Oppen

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.

Helmi Teklu

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.

City of Albany

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.

Bisop Maginn HS

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.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Investigators say they know what caused the Jay Street fire that left four dead and dozens homeless.

The origin of the March 6  fire was traced back to a single apartment in the 100-102 building: city officials told local media  late Friday afternoon that a chair in Apartment C1 caught fire. The room had various smoking materials inside, including ashtrays and incense.

The tenant opened a window and dragged the chair toward the hallway, which apparently fanned the flames. Arson charges have been ruled out, but there may be other charges.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

The U.S. Attorney's office is looking into some building demolitions that took place in Troy back in 2013, while demolition experts in Schenectady have begun the slow process of taking down apartment buildings gutted in a March 6 fire.

About two years ago the city of Troy ordered the emergency demolition of four buildings along King Street. The directive was given when then-city engineer Russ Reeves was out-of-town.

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."

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Two burned out buildings in Schenectady have a date with the wrecking ball. 

Crews are preparing this morning for the demolition of two fire-gutted apartment buildings in the 100-block of Jay Street. The takedown will reportedly occur over the span of a month at a cost of around $420,000 - the city will likely pay that bill then seek reimbursement from the building's owners.

Danger of collapse prompted Mayor Gary McCarthy to place the area around the buildings under a state of emergency through noon saturday.
 

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Plans to demolish two Schenectady buildings gutted by a March 6 fire are now in high gear.

Monday, Schenectady's corporation counsel disclosed the probe of the fire that destroyed two Jay Street apartment buildings had been officially declared a criminal investigation.  Searchers going through the rubble have found remains of at least four people to date. About 60 people were left homeless.

Ian Pickus

The NCAA Tournament field was unveiled last night, and Capital Region fans rejoiced to see the University at Albany men’s basketball team in the bracket for a third straight year. But before they could enjoy Selection Sunday, the Great Danes barely survived Saturday.

City of Schenectady

A search-and-recovery mission continues at the scene of two burned-out apartment buildings in Schenectady.

It's been a week since the five-story brick buildings along Jay Street, not far from City Hall,  were ravaged by a pernicious blaze that ultimately affected about 60 people. Seven people were hospitalized, including one individual who jumped out of a five-story window to escape the intense flames.

The Pipes Of Troy

Mar 13, 2015
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Thanks to frigid temperatures that froze supply lines, some Troy residents had to do without water for 11 straight days. The water woes may have eroded public confidence in city leadership.

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Police say three people have been charged in connection with a melee at an Albany hip-hop concert that left six men with stab wounds and a woman assaulted and robbed.

The Albany Times-Union reports 21-year-old Dywuan Blunt of Albany was charged with first-degree riot and sent to the county jail without bail after being arraigned on Thursday.

Police say two other people also face charges after the brawl early Saturday at a concert by the Georgia-based hip-hop group Migos.

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