Albany Times Union Local News

Local news feed from the Times-Union newspaper in Albany, NY. Covering local and breaking news from the Capital New York region.

The Albany Times Union Local News

Advocates urge de Blasio, Cuomo to put homeless in unused hotels
April 7, 2020, 12:50 pm | Source

ALBANY — Advocates and elected officials, including New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, are urging Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to house up to 30,000 homeless individuals in unused hotel rooms to help them engage in social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Jason Gough's forecast: Sun and warmth to dominate Albany area
April 7, 2020, 10:48 am | Source

Today will be a much nicer April 7th with sunshine and temperatures in the 60s. However, it'll be the last day of its kind for a while with cooler temperatures, clouds, rain and snow on the way.

Coronavirus live updates: Schenectady County considers pandemic tax relief
April 7, 2020, 9:30 am | Source

Coronavirus live updates

Tiz the Law named New York-bred Horse of the Year for 2019
April 7, 2020, 12:41 am | Source

Plane tickets were bought. Dinner reservations were made. Stories were at the ready, waiting to be told.

Monday night promised to be a fun one for people like Jack Knowlton and Linda Rice, who were going to be front and center at the annual New York-bred awards banquet at Saratoga National Golf Club. The event, hosted by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, was called off last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But there was still reason to celebrate because both Knowlton and Rice, among others, had great seasons in 2019 with their horses.

Knowlton, the managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, was awarded the top award when his Tiz the Law was named New York-bred Horse of the Year as well as top 2-year-old.

Rice continued her dominance at this event as she took home the hardware for the best trainer of New York-breds. This is the seventh time she has been so honored. The first came in 2009, the most recent in 2017.

New Albany test site boosts hopes for clearer picture of local COVID-19 spread
April 6, 2020, 11:44 pm | Source

As four more deaths due to the novel coronavirus were recorded in the Capital Region on Monday, officials expressed hope that a new mobile testing site in Albany would help paint a clearer picture of how widespread the virus is and when cases in the area might peak.

The shuttering of local hospital-based community testing two weeks ago had left officials worried they would be unable to monitor the spread, and made it difficult to forecast when COVID-19 cases might peak or start to plateau.

But a new mobile test site — which opened Monday at the University at Albany with the help of the university, Albany Medical Center, St. Peter's Health Partners and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office — has given them new reason to hope. The site was expected to draw 400 people on Monday. Once it ramps up to full capacity it should be able to handle 1,000 people a day, said County Executive Daniel McCoy.

Google will help New York fix unemployment claims system
April 6, 2020, 10:21 pm | Source

With New York’s unemployment insurance system continuing to be overrun by newly jobless applicants, Google is coming to the rescue.

Churchill: Albany native's death shows huge cost of COVID-19
April 6, 2020, 10:01 pm | Source

For Bruce Sowalski, the end began with what felt like a normal cold but rapidly became something much more serious.

Sowalski developed a cough, then a fever and eventually struggled to breathe. On Thursday, two weeks after his initial symptoms, he became the first Rensselaer County resident to die from COVID-19. He was 68.

“It didn’t take long for him to succumb,” said his wife, Lorraine Ferguson.

On Monday, Lorraine told me about the man she loved, her husband of 34 years. She described his passion for bird watching and his love for animals and nature. She told me about how tenderly he cared for his mother before she died in January.

Times Union All-Stars: Girls' basketball large school
April 6, 2020, 9:56 pm | Source

Athlete of the Year: Dolly Cairns, Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs coach Robin Chudy, like so many who marveled at all the things Cairns accomplished in a varsity career that began midway through her seventh-grade year when she immediately became a starter, could easily regale with story after story regarding the senior's illustrious career.

As much as Chudy could say about Cairns' steely resolve, unflappable nature, clutch shooting and leadership, she instead felt it was vital to talk about the person and teammate the University of Rhode Island-bound star is.

"The thing looking back on Dolly's career, never once in her six years did she show up her teammates. Not once," Chudy said. "There was never a great pass that a kid didn't finish or dribbled out of bounds, there was never a look or a reaction that wasn't in a positive manner. That is really difficult for a kid to do."

Are cats at risk of catching COVID-19?
April 6, 2020, 9:27 pm | Source

ALBANY – A tiger at the Bronx Zoo.  Two dogs and a cat in Hong Kong. A cat in Belgium.

They all became infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In the Capital Region, some veterinarians are now taking precautions to lessen the chances of pets – and cats in particular – contracting the virus or spreading it to humans.

How real of a threat COVID-19 is to animals largely remains a mystery as millions of Americans now work from home just feet away from their beloved cats, dogs and other pets.

Rensselaer, Saratoga counties report more deaths due to COVID-19
April 6, 2020, 8:35 pm | Source

Four more deaths due to the novel coronavirus were reported in the Capital Region on Monday, bringing the region's known death toll from the pandemic to 26.

Saratoga County said Monday that it had lost three more residents to the deadly virus, marking the county's fourth known death.

Saratoga and North Creek railroad is in bankruptcy court
April 6, 2020, 8:26 pm | Source

The long-struggling Saratoga and North Creek Railway is now in bankruptcy court but the trustee overseeing the case says he wants to find a new operator who would purchase the line.

Takeout options for Easter dining start to stack up
April 6, 2020, 7:06 pm | Source

Capital Region restaurants' takeout and delivery plans were slow to be finalized last week, but as it became clear that dining rooms would not be open by Easter Day on Sunday, restaurants began to release their plans. Here is what has been submitted to the Times Union’s Table Hopping blog as of Monday afternoon. Check back with the Easter 2020 category on Table Hopping as the week progresses to see more as they are added. All meals are for pickup or delivery, as noted.

Spectrum raising minimum wage of front-line workers amid virus outbreak
April 6, 2020, 7:05 pm | Source


Spectrum is raising the minimum wage of its field and customer operations workers that have had to be on the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak through visits to hospitals and customer locations.

The $1.50 increase - minimum wage at Spectrum is $15 - would be applied retroactively to March when employees are awarded merit increases in hourly pay.

Saratoga Family Court judge thrown off re-election ballot
April 6, 2020, 6:49 pm | Source

The primary race between Judge Jennifer Jensen Bergan and attorney Amy Knussman for family court judge is over.

Bergan’s Republican primary petitions were thrown out, essentially ending Bergan’s 10-year career on the bench. Her campaign advisor Keith Lewis said Bergan will not challenge the Saratoga County Board of Elections ruling because she “has a problem clogging the court during a pandemic when she can use her energy helping protect our community.”

In a statement released on Friday, Bergan said it’s unfortunate that the voters will not have a choice in the upcoming primary. Bergan was forced into pursuing a primary after county Republicans put all their support behind Knussman.

Send in your kids’ art for a Times Union feature
April 6, 2020, 6:26 pm | Source
Hey, Capital Region kids! We know that you haven't stopped being creative just because you've been stuck at home for the past few weeks. In fact, we bet that you've been creating more than ever! We want you to show off the artwork that you’ve made for class projects, for your parents, or just to keep from going stir crazy. We will use them in the print paper and on to bring a smile to our readers. 
Email your scanned and computer-generated images (or get the grown-ups in your house to help you) to managing editor Gary Hahn at No mail-in images will be accepted; we're trying to give our brave postal workers a break!

About Albany Times Union

The Times Union is an American daily newspaper, serving the Capital Region of New York. Although the newspaper focuses on Albany and its suburbs, it covers all parts of the four-county area, including the cities of Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs. It is owned by Hearst Communications. The paper was founded in 1857 as the Morning Times, becoming Times-Union by 1891, and was purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1924. The newspaper has been online since 1996. The newspaper is printed in its Colonie headquarters by the Hearst Corporation’s Capital Newspapers Division. The daily edition costs $2 and the Sunday/Thanksgiving Day edition costs $3. Home delivery prices are slightly lower.

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