Capital Region News

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

What was intended to be a press conference about a report on African Americans and community policing turned racially divisive as it morphed into a forum of heavy criticism of the Albany County District Attorney.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Center for Law and Justice in Albany has released its "report card" on Police Chief Steven Krokoff's performance over the past three years as head of the Albany Police

"Pathway to Change: African Americans and Community Policing in Action" examines African-American perception of how police interact with people. It focuses on the progress Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff has made when it comes to repairing what the report calls "decades of racial tensions" neighborhoods experienced under several of his predecessors via community policing.

A high ranking Albany County official has been arrested on drug charges.

An investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies culminated with the arrest of Deputy County Executive Christine Quinn.

The Times Union says Quinn is charged with one felony and one misdemeanor in a case involving prescription drugs.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A long shot candidate for Albany mayor is leaving the race this hour – but a familiar face is taking his place.

After Steve King of the Albany City Republican Committee challenged the validity of the 1,514 signatures Alexander Portelli collected in order to be on the November ballot, the Libertarian candidate has made a decision to drop out of the race.

Composite image by Dave Lucas/WAMC

There's a new factor playing a role in the Albany mayoral race: social media.

It has been said that politics puts social networking and communication to the ultimate test.  Libertarian Party candidate Alexander Portelli was the first to toss his hat in the ring.

Republican hopeful Jesse Calhoun hails social media as "both a blessing and a curse."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With three weeks until primary day, an Albany mayoral hopeful has unveiled her plan for economic development and job creation, while announcing new labor endorsements.

Saying that "Albany's best days are ahead of us," Democratic mayoral candidate and current City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan held a news conference in front of City Hall Tuesday, noting that since the recession ended in 2009, suburban tax bases have grown while Albany's has shrunk by nearly 7 percent.

UAlbany logo
wikipedia commons

Days before students start another semester, the University at Albany cut the ribbon Monday on its state-of-the-art $64 million School of Business building and unveiled the State University of New York’s first four-year undergraduate degree program in digital forensics. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

An annual Albany County political event once noted for high attendance and media attention has come and gone, barely noticed this year, even with a primary just days away.

For decades, the Albany County Democratic Committee's annual picnic was heralded as one of the region's showcase events, on par with "Hat Day" at the Saratoga Race Course. Thousands of party faithful attended the gatherings; the biggest names in politics were always on hand - but the dynamic has somehow changed. Fewer than 200 people turned out this year.

Troy Waterfront Farmers Market Sees Growing EBT Use

Aug 18, 2013
Hannah Hohenstein-Flack

By 10 on a recent Saturday morning, the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market was already busy.  The market partners with SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.  Open Saturdays, the farmers market takes place at the convergence of River and Third Streets in downtown Troy, an area that, like many urban centers, features more convenience stores and eateries than markets.   Shoppers looking for an alternative to otherwise limited options can find organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, locally-produced meat, fish, and dairy, in addition to prepared foods from neighborhood businesses,

Roller Derby All Stars Influence Community Connections

Aug 17, 2013
Brandon J. Holmes

The Albany All Stars Roller Derby league recently held a fundraiser at McGeary’s Irish Pub in downtown Albany. The proceeds were given to a member of the league who was the victim of a car theft.

University at Albany

The longtime coach of the University at Albany’s football team says he will retire after the season.

Bob Ford has been a fixture in Capital Region sports since he took over what was then a newly reinstated club team in 1970.  More than four decades later, Ford told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the Great Danes’ first season in their brand new stadium will be his last.

The Springfield College graduate has 264 career victories, and has shepherded the program through the jump to Division I in 1999 and a leap to the Colonial Athletic Association this year.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

As the September 10 Democratic primary draws closer, with current Albany City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan running for mayor, two candidates for Chief Fiscal officer have emerged, each democrat believing he is best-suited to take over the position.

In May, the Albany County Democratic Committee endorsed Sheehan as Jerry Jennings' successor over Corey Ellis. The party also backed county Legislator Gary Domalewicz for city treasurer.

Tax Credits, flickr

Two upstate New York investment brokers have been given federal prison sentences for diverting more than $4 million of their clients' funds to pay personal expenses, their firm's employees and its preferred clients.

Local media outlets report that 65-year-old Timothy McGinn of Clifton Park was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years and 68-year-old David Smith of Saratoga Springs got 10 years. A federal judge in Utica also ordered them to pay $5.7 million in restitution and costs.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Ticks transmit the widest variety of pathogens, and as these tiny creatures proliferate across the country, they are spreading diseases you — and your doctor — probably never heard of. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in Albany today at Six Mile Waterworks to call attention to a new and deadly tick-borne illness.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares has announced the formation of an Animal Abuse Taskforce.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A landmark downtown Albany hotel is getting a new lease on life.  Construction is set to begin this fall on a total remake of the old Dewitt Clinton. On Monday, Mayor Jerry Jennings helped take the wraps off a project he says goes hand-in-hand with other "revitalization" initiatives in downtown Albany, and would complement the proposed convention center, which would become the hotel's next-door-neighbor.

Photo composite by Dave Lucas

Launching and running a political campaign is one of the most challenging activities you can undertake. Launching a bid for local office or even mayor runs the gamut from intimidating to frustrating to exhilarating. American democracy enables all upstanding citizens to run for public office — at least, in theory. Going from idea and inspiration to launching a campaign is a process involving strict adherence to protocol, as New York Citizen One blogger Theresa Grafflin discovered when she attempted to run for city council in Albany's sixth ward.

An Unfriendly Town

Aug 1, 2013
City of Albany; "X" graffiti by Dave Lucas

Looking for a warm welcome in a new city? Don't come to Albany - that's the message from a new survey of the most and least friendly places on the planet.

Photo composite by Dave Lucas

With the September Democratic primary just six weeks away, a new poll suggests Albany voters have a clear choice in mind as to who they believe will best fill the shoes of departing Mayor Jerry Jennings.  

A settlement has been reached between Lafarge Ravena and the state and federal governments that  extends by 18 months the deadline by which the company must build a new kiln with advanced air pollution controls.

In exchange for more time, the settlement with the EPA and DEC sets annual limits on allowable emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by the Ravena plant that are at or below the limits contained in the original settlement.

The Albany-based Association of Towns is mourning the death of its longtime executive director:  Jeff Haber led the Association for 27 years from 1985, until he retired in October 2012. He was suceeded by Gerry Geist.

From the website:

Composite Photo by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

It has been a busy week in Albany County politics...

For nearly a decade, there's been talk of building a convention center in downtown Albany. In 2004, the Albany Convention Center Authority was established by the state legislature to develop plans for the site. The project was awarded a $75 million grant in 2005. It never got beyond the idea stage.

If you are looking to buy a diner - Albany Medical Center's CEO has a deal for you.

The old U.N. Diner on the Albany corner of New Scotland and Dana avenues – in more recent times known as Quintessence - is available. Albany Medical Center President and CEO Jim Barba says the hospital owns it – but it does not have a place in the facility’s current expansion plans - - so the 1930's structure is on the market. It's all yours if you will simply haul it away.

The landmark diner was sold to Albany Medical Center in October 2012.

WAMC Photo Composite by Dave Lucas

Albany Medical Center has revealed the finishing phase of its ongoing 500-million dollar neighborhood revitalization  plan. When the old neighborhood surrounding Albany Med is completely rebuilt, it will cap what officials call "the transformation of New Scotland Corridor" - becoming a new community.

Adapted from Google Maps

The SUNY Board of Trustees has given the green light to separate the University at Albany and the College of Nanoscale Science And Engineering. While there are some concerns, officials seem to agree they are taking steps in the right direction.

Last week, the trustees voted 13 to 3 in favor of splitting the colleges into two separate entities.

Dave Lucas (WAMC)

On what’s shaping up to be the hottest day of the year, Saratoga begins its 150th season of thoroughbred racing.

This week, the New York Racing Association's new president and CEO Chris Kay met with members of the media to discuss his plans for Saratoga Race Course’s season.  One of the first questions, right out of the gate, was about the weather and whether or not racing might be cut back or suspended altogether on opening day: Kay told reporters "We've had warm days in the past. We're prepared for it..."

Tech website hints that Apple may be interested in "buying into" a share of an existing chip fab plant on the GlobalFoundries campus in Saratoga County. Cnet says if Apple owned capacity at a fab, it would maintain control over design.  The Times Union reports Senator Chuck Schumer has been forging a deal between the iPhone maker and GlobalFoundries that would have the latter manufacturing computer chips for use in Apple devices.

Since a Florida jury cleared neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who faced murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, on Saturday, demonstrations on both sides have sprung up across the country.

Demonstrations large and small have been held in places like Burlington, Albany and Poughkeepsie after a Florida jury on Saturday night cleared Zimmerman of all criminal charges in the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Wednesday's Rain

Jul 10, 2013
Dave Lucas WAMC

The Albany-area gets a quick demonstration of flash flooding … The National Weather Service defines a flash flood as "rapidly rising water that usually occurs within two hours of the start of high intensity rain." Wednesday afternoon In the city of Albany, it took little more than five minutes for mother nature to produce a small demonstration of the phenomenon.

The Albany County Executive has been on a mission to privatize the 250-bed Albany County Nursing Home, while county legislators have been heading in the opposite direction, trying to keep the facility not-for-profit and under county control.  

On Monday, the Albany County Legislature voted to authorize McCoy to retain a law firm to assist in formation of a local development corporation to manage the facility. McCoy says he cannot legally do that.