John Purcell

518-439-4949 Ext: 429

Senior reporter John Purcell has worked at Spotlight News for four 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 News.

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 in Schenectady County. 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.

Recent Stories

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Bethlehem Central School District finalizes budget proposal

School board members are focused on a 2015-16 budget totaling $94.16 million, which increases spending about 1.5 percent. The proposal does not tap any undesignated fund balance, while proposing an unusually low tax increase.

Redistricting proposal redraws town lines

Proposed map places Kuhn into a different Bethlehem legislative district, quelling primary bid

Another legal battle is looming over county legislature district lines, because Bethlehem Democrats claim the new plan submitted to the court unnecessarily shifts lines within the town.

County legislators OK fracking waste ban

Local law would prohibit disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste at landfills

Hydraulic fracturing is banned statewide, but county legislators want to ensure none of the waste produced from the natural gas extraction method enters local landfills.

Bethlehem Central finalizes budget proposal

Spending plan holds less than 1 percent tax levy hike, fund balance untapped

Bethlehem Central administrators on Wednesday, April 15, presented the Bethlehem Central Board of Education with an updated budget proposal for next school year, which holds a property tax levy increase of 0.45 percent.

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UPDATE: Mudslide along Normans Kill blocking water flow

County Executive declares State of Emergency for areas bordering creek

A mudslide has dammed up the Normans Kill, blocking water flow down the creek and resulting in a “high potential” for flooding, according to local officials.

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Show some love to a favorite park

Events at local parks highlight annual 'I Love My Park Day.’

Even a park could use a little bit of spring-cleaning before flowers bloom and wildlife roam, along with many eager trail-goers and bird watchers.

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Photo Galley: Bethlehem egg hunt

Cold weather did not dampen turnout for annual event

The Town of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Department hosted its “Egg-stravaganza” event Saturday, April 11, at Elm Avenue Park. The main attraction, an egg hunt, featured more than 2,000 colorful plastic eggs placed across three areas at the park.

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Bethlehem Central School District budget outlook brightens

State aid projected to increase $2M; tax cap at 0.45 percent increase

District administrators presented an updated 2015-16 proposed budget to the Bethlehem Board of Education at its Tuesday, March 31, meeting. Bethlehem Central is slated to see an increase of nearly $2.3 million in state funding.

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Alternate substation sites reviewed

Zoning Board delays decision, town-owned land floated for facility

A decision on National Grid’s proposed substation has been delayed as town officials seek additional information from the company and await an independent consultant’s review of the proposal.

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Tobacco display ban touted [video]

Retailers support county bill to shield tobacco products; push back over compromise

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Legislator Mary Lou Connolly, flanked by supermarket and pharmacy store representatives, announced a local law prohibiting the display of tobacco in retail establishments with a pharmacy.

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