Capital Region News

..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..

New York's highest court says it's up to the district attorney, not a city judge, to decide whether or not to prosecute protesters charged with disorderly conduct as part of the Occupy Albany movement that gripped downtown four years ago.

During the autumn of 2011, the downtown Albany "Occupy" site in the shadow of the state capitol was one of 2,000 such encampments that had sprung up across the globe. The movement took root earlier that year in New York City, as part of the response to the U.S. financial crisis, when "occupiers" converged on Zuccotti Park.

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Troy Councilman Jim Gordon is formally announcing his candidacy for mayor today, joining a crowded field of hopefuls looking to replace the retiring Democrat Lou Rosamilia. Gordon spoke with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As politicians scramble to expedite laws addressing crude oil transport by rail, citizens gathered in Albany today to demand the trains be banned from rolling on New York tracks.

Rensselaer may have missed out on the casino sweepstakes and the chance to revitalize its waterfront. But now, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is eying a site downtown where it hopes to build a tech hub and employee housing.

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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."

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The race to lead Troy is getting tighter.  Since Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia announced he would not seek a second term in office,  a cast of hopefuls moved into the spotlight.  City Council President Rodney Wiltshire was first to officially step forward, in late March. The two-term councilman tells WAMC:   "I wanna put the party politics from the past behind, and get us into the 21st century, which is something that I think Troy desperately deserves."   Wiltshire has picked up The Working Families Party endorsement.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

There’s been another fatal shooting in Albany. In the meantime, police have announced a change in taser policy.

The city stun-gun policy change comes in the aftermath of a pair of tasing incidents in Arbor Hill. April 2nd, 39-year old Dontay Ivy, a paranoid schizophrenic with heart problems, died at Albany Medical Center shortly after police tased him. The Albany County D.A. is investigating.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

With police still investigating the latest gun death in Albany, the weekend was marked by social awareness events around the region.

People moved by headlines assembled Saturday in Albany and also Kingston observing a national day of protest in support of the people of Baltimore, calling for justice for Freddie Gray and all victims of police brutality.

A teenage troubadour from Fultonville, NY who has been wowing TV audiences around the globe every week on NBC’s “The Voice,” will perform a FREE concert in Albany.

16-year-old folk-soul singer and Voice finalist Sawyer Fredericks will appear at the Palace Theatre on Wednesday, MAY 6 at 8PM. Tickets for the performance are COMPLIMENTARY and will be available on a first come, first served basis beginning FRIDAY, MAY 1 AT 10AM***.  “The Voice" will be on hand to record the event. Theater officials promise "a wonderful experience for everyone."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

One dead person is dead and two others remain hospitalized after a Wednesday night shooting along the outskirts of Albany's Arbor Hill. A preview of summer violence?

In late October, 2014, shaken by yet another round of gun crime in Albany, elected officials, community leaders and private citizens gathered together for a downtown brainstorming session. At the time, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said:     "We learn when we listen and sometimes a community has ideas that are far better than anything that we can come up with in a conference room in city hall."

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