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John Purcell has worked at Spotlight Newspapers for more than two and a half years and covers Albany County suburbs.
Purcell covers the towns of Guilderland and New Scotland, the villages of Altamont and Voorheesville and Albany County news and feature stories. He also covers the school districts of Guilderland and Voorheesville. Previously, he covered Schenectady County for Spotlight Newspapers.
In the New York Press Association's 2011 Better Newspaper Contest he received third place honors in Spot News Coverage for his story on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Also, in NYPA's 2010 contest he received honorable mention for best news story.
Before joining Spotlight, he interned at The Legislative Gazette covering state government. He graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in Journalism. Also, he is a Schenectady County native.
New Scotland will buy water from Bethlehem to form new district
The New Scotland and Bethlehem town boards each approved an intermunicipal water supply agreement for the newly formed New Salem Water District on Wednesday, June 12.
Education forum focuses on new testing requirements, state mandates
State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, organized a forum, “Education at a Crossroads: A Forum on the Impacts of Testing and Mandates,” on Wednesday, June 5, in the Legislative Office Building at the Capitol.
New Scotland planners give preliminary approval for 12-lot project
A 12-lot subdivision in New Scotland saw considerably less public protest in its second public hearing before the town’s Planning Board, leading the board to move the project forward in the planning process.
Bethlehem celebrates Elm Avenue Pool Complex’s 40th birthday
Bethlehem celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Elm Avenue Pool Complex on Sunday, June 9, with a slide of cake, live band, bouncy house and of course swimming. There are several more events scheduled this year to continue the celebration.
RCS students build floating creations for second Recyclable Boat Regatta
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School students in Scott Peck’s Design and Drawing for Production course constructed boats complete with oars or paddles capable of powering an operator 75 yards across Lawson Lake for the district's Recyclable Boat Regatta.
Clothe a Homeless Hero program implemented at Albany International Airport
The Albany County Veterans Service Bureau is working with the Albany County Airport Authority, the Transportation Security Administration and the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society to distribute unclaimed clothing left at airport security checkpoints to homeless veterans.
Preliminary maps comment period open, affects insurance rates and building requirements
The official flood maps in Albany County are in the process of being redrawn. Flood maps lay out floodplain boundaries and identify where flooding is most likely to occur in storms of varying strengths. The boundaries of flood zones can have a major effect on homeowners because it can greatly influence the need for flood insurance and what rates it might be offered at.
Guilderland students helping to expand Pine Bush habitat
Students from Farnsworth Middle School are helping to monitor an area near the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Guilderland seventh-grade students were brought just past the City of Albany’s Rapp Road Landfill, where they looked for signs of life native to the Pine Bush at restored portions of land.
Environmental Fair at Five Rivers explores the present and past
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center hosted more than 600 students from around 10 Capital District elementary schools during the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s three-day Environmental Fair.
Bus and reserve fund propositions pass; uncontested board incumbents
Voorheesville Central School District's approved 2013-14 budget increases spending by almost $694,000, or 3.14 percent, and holds a property tax levy increase of 3.23 percent, which is within the district’s tax cap limit.