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Last updated: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:38:18 GMT

 Double-murder case goes to jury Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:28:05 UT
Albany Cellphone records. A cigarette lighter. A winter cap. In his final words to the jury Thursday, an Albany County prosecutor said they were all pieces in a larger puzzle that, when put together, prove Edward "Ted" Mero murdered two women. That came after Mero's attorney told jurors the ex-Albany city water worker faced a weak case supported by jailhouse witnesses, a "Freudian slip" and harmless "sick jokes" in which her client told co-workers he could start fires and not get caught. The jurors began deciding the fate of Mero, 30, at 3:21 p.m. following instructions from Judge Peter Lynch. The panel will return Friday morning.
 2 men claim police attacks Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:26:38 UT
Schenectady A city resident who alleges he was attacked by a plainclothes city cop after being mistaken for a robbery suspect and a man who accuses police officers of beating him up and repeatedly using a Taser on him have filed separate legal actions against the city and police department. On Thursday, Roger Brooks recounted the alleged police encounter on a cold September afternoon that began when he left his Bradley Street home to walk down the block to McClellan Street to pick up his grandchildren from the school bus. As he stood in front of his son's juice-bar store, the 50-year-old man said, he saw several police cars and officers who had blocked off much of the area.
 33 students suspended after Albany High fights Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:58:12 UT

ALBANY — A total of 33 students have been suspended in the week since a spate of fights erupted at Albany High School and prompted a major police response, according to Superintendent Kaweeda Adams.

 Mero double-murder case in hands of jury Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:08:37 UT

ALBANY - Cell phone records. A cigarette lighter. A winter cap.

In his final words to the jury Thursday, an Albany County prosecutor said they were all pieces in a larger puzzle that, when put together, prove Edward "Ted" Mero murdered two women.

That came after Mero's attorney told jurors the ex-Albany city water worker faced a weak case supported by jailhouse witnesses, a "Freudian slip" and harmless "sick jokes" in which her client told coworkers he could start fires and not get caught.

The jurors began deciding the fate of Mero, 30 at 3:21 p.m. following instructions from Judge Peter Lynch. The panel will return Friday morning.

Chief Assistant District Attorney David Rossi said the various pieces of evidence against theformer city water worker are too many and too significant to simply be coincidental.

 Troy schools nab $7M for afterschool programs Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:24:54 UT

Troy schools won a $7 million grant to provide afterschool programs at each of the district's five elementary schools.

 Jail officials probe attempted suicide at Schenectady County jail Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:55:32 UT

SCHENECTADY — An inmate at the county jail remained at Ellis Hospital Thursday for psychiatric evaluation after trying to hang himself at the facility earlier in the week, according to jail officials.

The man, who has been held at the jail since Nov. 4, was taken to Ellis after attempting suicide at around 7:30 a.m. Monday. He was rescued by jail guards.

The Sheriff's Office is looking into the matter.

 New Yorkers could pay 2018 property taxes early Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:35:38 UT

Looming tax reform has some New Yorkers seeking to pay their property taxes before 2018 with hopes of deducting it on tax returns.

Federal lawmakers currently are considering allowing taxpayers to mix and match income, property and sales tax deductions up to $10,000, softening initial proposals that sought to eliminate the State and Local Tax deductions completely. The final bill has yet to be released.

 NYS accredits East Greenbush Police Department Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:27:41 UT

EAST GREENBUSH – The 24-member East Greenbush Police Department joined the ranks of the state's accredited police agencies after passing muster with state Division of Criminal Justice Services guidelines.

 Dems on outside looking in as GOP pushes tax bill to finish line Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:23:13 UT

WASHINGTON _ Republicans on Capitol Hill are throwing in some last-minute sweeteners to win votes for their long-cherished tax bill but Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and fellow Democrats in Congress insist it’s too little, too late.
``It’s the same rushed, awful process as before _ and it can only result in mistakes and unintended consequences that could wreak havoc on the economy,’’ Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday. ``Why are our Republican colleagues rushing this bill through? I think they are ashamed of it. Every day, the more people know about the bill, the more they don’t like it.’’

Although most details of the amalgamated version of already-passed House and Senate tax bills remain under wraps, news reports say the version to be voted on next week — the last stop before President Trump’s desk — contains refinements both major and minor.
Among them are:

  •  Compromising on the mortgage-interest deduction. The House bill capped it at $500,000 on new loans, a home-buyer disincentive in parts of New York where property can easily reach the upper six and lower seven figures. The Senate bill kept it at its current $1 million. The final bill splits the difference at $750,000.
  •  Dropping the Obamacare mandate that all must have health insurance or face a tax penalty.
  •  Restoration of the $250 deduction for teachers who buy school supplies out of pocket.
  •  Restoration of the tax-free status of Personal Activity Bonds, much relied upon by affordable housing advocates in urbanized parts of the Capital Region.
  •  Elimination of a plan to drop tuition credits for grad students, a boon to places like RPI. But a new tax on major university endowments sill appears to be in place. Depending on the endowment dollars-per-student ratio in the final bill, the 1.4-percent tax might affect RPI, and Skidmore and Union colleges in the Capital Region.

 Homelessness affects students even after they find housing, report finds Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:21:35 UT

New York students who are homeless are half as likely to meet state standards in reading and math compared to their peers who have never been homeless, a new analysis published this week found.

But the effects of homelessness don't end there. Even after these students find a home, the analysis shows they are just as likely to underperform as before.