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John Purcell

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State Police to conduct speeding crackdown

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.

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Lafarge breaks ground on plant modernization

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.

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Voorheesville schools’ budget gap shrinks to $176k

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.

Public space, private business

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.

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Voorheesville envisions master plan for trail’s end

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.

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Voorheesville school budget talk draws concerned crowd

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.

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The stage is set

School plays offer entertainment, showcase talent

This weekend, prepare to take a journey with a mischievous cat, cheer for a take on America’s favorite pastime, witness a man’s morally questionable rise in business, and groove to a royal exploration of popular music.

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Disability advocates' encampment stretches on

Protestors occupy Nurses Association building, clash over nursing law

Around a dozen disabled people, with some leaving and others joining, have been living in the lobby of the New York State Nurses Association in Latham after the union and activists clashed over a proposed amendment to the Nurse Practice Act.

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Survey: Health care costs loom over businesses

Annual studies show area’s commercial climate positive despite challenges

Capital District businesses fear how much health care could hemorrhage its bottom line, according to recent surveys, but the overall outlook foresees a bright future.

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McCoy touts progress, outlines year’s agenda

State of the County lists accomplishments and continues goals

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy delivered his State of the County address Monday, March 10, with several county legislators and leaders, local officials and community leaders, listing a recap of accomplishments while laying out his agenda for this year.

Dolin: Target realistic commercial development

New Scotland zoning regulations reform could help growth; affordable housing

New Scotland officials will soon release a request for individuals interested in joining the new Economic Development Advisory Committee, but there is some debate over the process.

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Fischer kicks off campaign to topple Tonko

Republican hopeful attacks big government and ACA

Jim Fischer, R-Ballston Spa, kicked off his campaign against incumbent Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, on Tuesday, March 11, at The Desmond Hotel in Albany.

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LeVie subdivision, barn conditions approved

Property owner and town agree on barn relocation timeline, 18 homes to be built

The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, March 4, unanimously approved the final plans for an 18-lot residential subdivision on a 22.4-acre property located in an agricultural district off Maple Road. Country Club Partners and the town also agreed to conditions allowing local officials more time to secure funding to relocate the LeVie barn.

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A second wind

Region’s Patriot Flight program embraces 70th anniversary of D-Day

After a couple years of relative inactivity, the area’s Patriot Flight program is readying to take World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., and commemorate D-Day’s 70th anniversary.

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Fowl request spurs discontent

Guilderland man seeks OK for chicken coop; zoning code revisions expected

Guilderland’s zoning law may be silent on whether chickens are allowed in residential areas, but neighbors of one man requesting to raise the birds weren’t.

Villages at helm of low-key elections

Uncontested races the norm locally, some use paper ballots to keep costs down

Locally this month, there are elections in both the Village of Colonie and Voorheesville, with only the Colonie race seeing a contest. There is also a contested race in the Village of Ravena. Most village elections, however, don’t inspire the same political discourse of town, county or state races and the county Board of Elections often isn't involved.

Voorheesville waits for railroad safety study funding

Village officials say little progress made with county on accessing grant

Around three months ago, Albany County legislators unanimously awarded Voorheesville $27,500 to complete an engineering study outlining the installation of a quad gate at its railroad crossing. Village officials, though, are still waiting to get their hands on the money.

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LeVie barn sized up for relocation [Photo Gallery]

Expert estimates moving building as-is could cost around $500K, smaller scale options possible

Raising the LeVie barn was a townwide effort 115 years ago, and relocating the building will likely take a similar effort.

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Albany County Rail Trail enters third phase

Public hears about $4.1M plan for Albany-Bethlehem pathway portion

The Albany County Department of Public works held an open house Thursday, Feb. 20, on the third phase of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail at Bethlehem Town Hall. The project as proposed is estimated to cost $4.18 million, with county officials needing to cut around $40,000 to stay within budget.

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The nature of art

Thacher Nature Center to host annual environment-inspired art exhibit, offering art classes

Artistic inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but one local art show is rooted in Mother Nature’s visual appeal.

Offsetting costs of public defenders

Albany County gets $656k grant for Counsel at First Appearance program

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced the county was awarded $656,000 of state grant funding for the Counsel at First Appearance Project on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The three-year grant will be used to provide legal representation during arraignment to those who cannot afford an attorney.

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A core concern

Forum focuses on Common Core problems facing special education

Senators Cecilia Tkaczyk and Neil Breslin and Assembly members John McDonald and Phil Steck listened to comments from several speakers Tuesday, Feb. 11, discussing how implementation of the Common Core curriculum has exacerbated challenges for students with special needs.

New Scotland public works commissioner becomes salaried

Board members surprised by lack of timecard system, retroactive fix being implemented

New Scotland is tweaking the pay system for its recently created position of public works commissioner, but a resident questioned how hours were being maintained and some board members were surprised to find the system lacking.

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Legislators appoint county nursing home LDC

Some supporters weary of shifting operations, McCoy wishes board selected sooner

The Albany County Legislature approved creating the nursing home LDC by 27-10 at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, with votes split across party lines, and appointed its board of directors.

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Albany County GOP aims to build unified voice

Benedict steps down, but returns as deputy to ease party's transition

Albany County Legislature Minority Leader Lee Carman announced Monday, Feb. 3, that Christine Benedict was appointed as deputy minority leader, along with two new positions within GOP caucus.

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Harmony reached over historic barn

Developers appear agreeable to allowing time for LeVie Barn relocation

The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, Feb. 4, returned to Country Club Partners’ application seeking an 18-lot residential subdivision for a 22.4-acre property, which holds the 115-year-old barn town officials are trying to relocate locally.

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E-cigs banned from Albany County-owned buildings

McCoy signs executive order citing health concerns, lack of regulation

The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, has not gone unnoticed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, who signed an executive order Thursday, Feb. 6, banning the use of the devices to match restrictions placed on tobacco smoking on county property.

Voorheesville ambulance contract being finalized

Mayor expects agreement signed this month, hiccup over reserve account

Voorheesville officials have not reached an agreement with its local ambulance service provider for this year, but negotiations are progressing without the contentious debates of prior years.

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Split primaries costing Albany County $200K

Tkaczyk proposes moving primaries to June, or state covers $50M price tag

Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, held a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 29, to highlight a bill she recently introduced, which would move state primaries to coincide with federal primaries. The legislation also puts the onus on the state to cover state primary costs if the date is not moved.

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Educators demand end of GEA

Forum focuses on effects of lost state aid to schools, rallies for funds to be returned

The regional forum, “NY Schools Still in Fiscal Peril: Our Kids Can’t Wait Another Year,” drew around 1,000 people to South Colonie High School on Thursday, Jan. 30, with a gym opened as an overflow room to broadcast it.

Voorheesville schools eyeing $630k gap

District projects $22.75M spending plan, small state aid increase

Staying within the state-mandated tax cap means the Voorheesville school district will have to cut around $630,000 from next year’s spending plan, and where those reductions are made will be decided in the coming months.

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New Scotland hopes to save historic barn

Town officials granted access to site after several years, push to relocate structure begins

A reignited proposal to create an 18-lot residential subdivision adjacent to the Colonie Country Club has New Scotland officials scrambling to save the historic LeVie barn.

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Smart House opens doors

Living Resources unveils state’s first barrier-free home

Living Resources unveiled the Smart House, located off Ardsley Road in Guilderland, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, which harness technology to allow residents to maintain an independent lifestyle.

New Scotland seeks to beef up commercial base

Town Board member preparing to form Economic Development Advisory Committee

New Scotland spans 58 square miles, encompassing seven hamlets and a village, and is home to more than 8,500 residents. Noticeably missing from the rural landscape is commercial development, but town officials are developing a group to tackle the disparity.

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Albany County kicks off Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative

Program seeks better outcomes for at-risk youths, save taxpayers money

Albany County announced on Wednesday, Jan. 22, it would be taking part in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) aimed at reducing the number of young people placed in secure and non-secure detention facilities, along with enacting reforms to the juvenile justice system.

Educators concerned over state funding

Cuomo touts focus on classrooms in speech, GEA absent from remarks

Local school leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have clashed on several issues during his three years in office, with state funding to schools being a major spot of contention. Cuomo’s recent State of the State address left some educators wondering if this year would bring any substantial change.

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Swazzle Dazzle

Puppet show aims to inspire through musical tale and colorful characters

Two twin brothers from Southern California who grew up admiring Jim Henson’s “The Muppets” are now following in his footsteps as they travel across the country with their handmade puppets.

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Giving the tax cap teeth alongside taxpayer relief

Cuomo pitches two-year property taxes freeze, local leaders plan to stay within cap

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced details of a $2 billion tax relief proposal two days before his State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The proposals aim to reduce taxes and spur economic development, with homeowners benefiting directly from some initiatives.

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Cuomo outlines agenda for 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined several new initiatives and built upon existing ones during his State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 8. Check out a highlight of some initiatives affecting local residents and businesses outside of the governor’s proposed two-year property taxes freeze.

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Pair of Guilderland teens arrested for rash of vandalism

Graffiti tags Voorheesville High School sign and employee’s car, village library

A pair of teenage boys allegedly went on a vandalism spree, spray-painting bigoted wording and images, as well as cat faces, which caused damage estimated to total more than $8,000, according to police.

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New Scotland board outlines goals for year

Democrat incumbents sworn in before meeting amid snowstorm

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin, town board members Douglas LaGrange and Daniel Mackay, and Highway Superintendent Ken Guyer were sworn in Thursday, Jan. 2, in front of a few residents. The four incumbents, along with incumbent Town Clerk Diane Deschenes, faced no opponents in bids to keep their posts.

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Calderone becomes deputy county executive

McCoy touts passion and experience for tapping outgoing Albany Deputy Mayor

Philip Calderone, who served as deputy mayor of Albany for 17 years, was sworn in Tuesday, Dec. 31, as deputy county executive, with Albany County Dan McCoy announcing his selection a few days prior. Calderone replaced Bradley Fischer, who is leaving for a job at the state Gaming Commission.

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Embracing the absurd

Guilderland native pens first book with a cast of zany characters and adventures

More than a decade after a local man started writing a book in college, he dusted off the novel of absurd comedy to see the words finally make it to the printed page.

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Chef’s cuisine drawing lines after school

New take-out program generating additional revenue for district

Balancing the books of a school’s food service program amid more strict federal lunch guidelines has led some districts to opt out of the new requirements and lose the funding tied to those guidelines. Voorheesville Central School District though is coming closer to getting out of the red without the federal funds with meal options for students and families.

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Local projects win big in REDC awards

Rail Trail comes closer to being completed; arts venues receive grants

Nearly $83 million will flow to the Capital Region through the latest round of Regional Economic Development Council awards, and nearly 30 projects in Albany County nabbed funding. Most of them focused on highlighted projects, but several local priorities were also granted funding.

Albany County budget within tax cap

Legislators amend proposal to fund nursing home through 2014

Albany County lawmakers adopted its first budget within the state mandate tax cap amid an amended proposal to continue funding the county nursing home through next year.

Voorheesville voters approve $2.7M project

Severe snowstorm leads to sparse turnout at school’s polls

Fewer than 200 people cast a ballot Tuesday, Dec. 17, on Voorheesville’s proposed $2.7 million bond project, which passed with 131 votes in favor and 52 votes against.

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Voorheesville voters to decide $2.7M project

District proposes reconstructing roof, upgrading technology for future demands

Voorheesville school officials are hoping a scaled-back capital project targeting what it has deemed to be essential improvements will be approved by voters.

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Albany County Styrofoam ban becomes law

McCoy announces green initiatives alongside signing bill, looks to expand ban past chains

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed the Food Service Waste Reduction Act into law Thursday, Dec. 12, at Bethlehem Town Hall flanked by local officials. The law bans polystyrene foam food containers and requires such businesses using disposable food service ware to use a “suitable, alternative product” that is compostable or biodegradable.

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Safety program gets cars fitted for the road

CarFit helps older drivers stay safe behind the wheel

CarFit volunteers converged at Westmere Fire Department on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to make seniors aware about vehicle safety equipment and to fit cars to each individual. Information is given to enhance driver safety, too, along with recommending certain items that can be purchased to make driving safer.

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