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John Purcell has worked at Spotlight News for more than three 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. 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.
Guilderland zoning board to rule on resident’s fowl request
Uncertainty still looms over a Guilderland man’s proposal to keep chickens behind his house, but it’s clear opinions on both sides haven’t swayed.
Committee formed to tackle review commission recommendations
Albany County legislators have formed a committee to evaluate what recommendations from the Charter Review Commission’s report should be implemented.
Village Board finalizes $2.05M budget, 4.5 percent tax levy hike
No residents on Monday, April 7, spoke during a low-key public hearing on Voorheesville proposed budget. Local officials, while not advertising the move, are looking to exceed the tax cap.
Company estimates photovoltaic system would be $93.6K savings over 20 years
Sunny days could be ahead for New Scotland if energy savings from a photovoltaic system are as much as an area company forecasts. The system would also provide more reliable energy costs.
Weeklong campaign will also focus on aggressive and distracted driving
State Police will hold a “Speed Week” campaign from Thursday, April 17, through the following Thursday, which focuses on increased enforcement of speeding and aggressive driving violations. The campaign seeks to reduce speed-related crashes and improve traffic safety.
Ravena facility renovation will replace kilns and cut emissions, retain jobs
Federal, state, and local officials and business leaders gathered on Friday, April 11, for Lafarge North America’s groundbreaking ceremony at its Ravena plant. The project will replace the more than 50-year-old equipment with “state-of-the-art” technology.
Overall state aid increases to $5.15M for district, contested cuts restored
Voorheesville Central School District will see an additional $144,000 of state aid, which was included in the recently approved state budget. The additional funding decreases its budget gap to around $176,500.
Guilderland Library's ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ tutoring policy; neighboring libraries see less impact
Private tutors over the past several years have increasingly relied on public libraries as a space to meet up with students, according to some local library directors. How that use has affected libraries appears to vary depending on the amount of space available and the demand for it.
Village officials eye state grants for Rail Trail enhancements, railroad museum
Voorheesville officials are looking to enhance its end of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and possibly build a museum to honor local railroad history, which has fittingly characterized the community.
Parents express concerns over proposed cuts, increasing classroom size
More than 100 people turned out to the Voorheesville school district’s budget forum on Monday, March 24, and several parents expressed an overarching fear the community was losing its distinguishing characteristics.