December 31, 2014

More States Than Ever Will Raise Their Minimum Wage On New Year's Day

If you're a minimum wage earner and of drinking age, be sure to raise a glass when the ball drops Wednesday night. There's a decent chance you'll be getting a pay raise.
Thanks to a raft of state-level laws and ballot measures this year, 20 states will be hiking their minimum wages on New Year's Day -- evidence of a growing nationwide move toward higher mandatory pay despite congressional inertia on the issue.

New phase of e-recycling to go into effect

ALBANY, N.Y. – The final phase of the New York Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act goes into effect January 1 making it illegal to throw old electronics in the trash.

Waste collectors cannot pick up discarded electronics, but there are hundreds of locations in the Capital Region that will properly recycle old electronics for free.

Many unused electronics stay tucked away in a corner collecting dust, or they’re tossed in the dump.

“They’ve sat in a box,” Albany resident Robert Morrissette said. “I haven’t done much with them.”

In the final phase of the act, consumers are required to recycle their e-waste rather than put it outside for garbage pick-up.


December 30, 2014

Rensselaer mayor demands answers on casino location selection

RENSSELAER, N.Y. – It was announced on Monday that Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the Gaming Commission, asking them to reopen the bidding process for the Southern Tier, and now the Rensselaer mayor wants in.

Mayor Dan Dwyer is now demanding answers and a review of the Gaming Commission.

In a letter to Cuomo, Dwyer states he wants to see a so-called “score card” on how Rensselaer and Hard Rock were beat out by the Rivers Casino in Schenectady.

“I need some answers,” he said.
Cuomo’s intervention into the casino debate comes after he said the decision was solely up to the Gaming Commission and after board chairman Kevin Law stressed the commission had no plans to issue the fourth license. 

NYT: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver under investigation

Updated: 12/30/2014 8:30 PM
Created: 12/30/2014 9:22 AM
By: WNYT Staff
ALBANY - To many people, it sounds redundant -- an ethics investigation at the state Capitol.
This time, the subject of the apparent probe couldn't be much bigger.
The official comment from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office is: there is no comment.
According to the New York Times, federal authorities are now looking into the possibility that questionable payments were made to Speaker Silver, and if they were, they weren't disclosed on his financial disclosure reports.
If the New York Times report is true, then Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may have received "substantial" payments from a law firm that specializes in seeking tax reductions for its clients -- and that income may not have been properly disclosed by Silver.
"I think once the feds show up and begin investigating, they don't do that lightly," said Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, from Melrose
McLaughlin -- a long time Silver critic -- says he's long past the point of calling for the speaker to resign, hoping others at the Capitol feel the same way.
"If they do the right thing next week and turn around send a message a not re-elect this man, that would be the end of Sheldon Silver in Albany and I think that would be a bright day for the state of New York if he goes," McLaughlin proclaimed.

Cuomo Vetoes Teacher Evaluation Bill

The veto was announced in a batch of bill approvals and additional vetoes - See more...

Updated: Tuesday, December 30 2014, 08:32 PM EST 
ALBANY -- Governor Cuomo has veteoed a bill that would have kept teachers from losing their jobs based on their students' test scores. Those who supported the measure are shocked because the bill was something that Cuomo himself had proposed. "It just means we're back to the starting block in some ways," Assemblywoman Pat Fahy said. "My concern in all of this is it's taken quite some time to get to this agreement." The agreement would have altered the state's teacher evaluation system by barring the use of Common Core test scores when determining a teacher's future in the classroom. One former teacher tells CBS6 she agrees with the decision not to let the bill pass. 
"It should count. It's important. It is important, if the students aren't performing then we need to look at why and if it's the teacher or the teacher style or lack there of us then we should be doing something about that," Samati Simmons said.
Read more... 

Christmas Eve tirade lands woman in jail


EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – Police say a woman spent Christmas Day in Rensselaer County Jail after attacking her family.

East Greenbush Police say 30-year-old Jessica Leahey went on a Christmas Eve tirade.

According to authorities, Leahey, who lives with a relative, became highly agitated after apparently not getting her way, and turned violent against her family, knocking down the Christmas tree and upsetting a miniature Christmas Village.

Police say Leahey pulled the telephone wires out to prevent a 911 call, then proceeded to knock holes through the sheetrock walls of the home and punched out a kitchen window before police were able to arrive and take her into custody.

Leahey is charged with two counts of criminal mischief. She was arraigned early Christmas morning in Schodack Town Court and remanded to County Jail.

December 26, 2014

Three local theaters decided to run the film “The Interview”

Movieplex 8 is offering free popcorn to patrons who bring a copy of the constitution. Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties and the Movieplex in North Adams, Mass. are also showing the film. It is also available online to rent or buy.

Read more... 

December 24, 2014

Sheehan fights to keep Half Moon in Albany

Updated: 12/23/2014 5:12 PM
Created: 12/23/2014 5:04 PM
By: WNYT Staff

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan -- along with other local officials are trying to keep the Half Moon from leaving for the Netherlands.
The replica of the historic vessel that Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609 has been in financial difficulty for years and has never had a home port.
The owner made a deal with the town of Hoorn to move the Half Moon there.
Now, Mayor Sheehan wants to hear from the ship's owner about what it would take to keep the Half Moon.
For nearly 25 years, school groups in the Hudson Valley have set sail on the Half Moon for adventures of discovery.

Kenneth White's father denied custody of other two kids

Updated: 12/23/2014 6:27 PM
Created: 12/23/2014 12:19 PM
By: Anna Meiler

Jayson White hoped to get custody of his two daughters who were in the Knox trailer home last week when their brother, Kenneth White, 5, was murdered.
Their cousin, Tiffany VanAlstyne is charged with killing him.
Many aspects of the family's history came to light inside that court room that led the judge to believe it's in best interest of Kenneth’s sisters to remain in foster care.
Kenneth's father, Jayson White, broke down crying when his custody was denied.
“I'm here to fight for my kids. I will fight ‘til my dying day for them kids to stay out of the home where they had to witness their brother get murdered in cold blood,” he vowed.

December 23, 2014

In 2015, Time Warner customers will see an increase in their bills

Updated: Tuesday, December 23 2014, 07:18 PM EST  ALBANY - Time Warner Cable customers will see an increase on their bills come the new year, the cable company is raising three existing fees and adding a new, "sports programming" surcharge of $2.75 per month. The increase for Capital Region customers will start with the January 18th billing cycle.
A spokesman for Time Warner Cable tells CBS6 the cost the cable company pays to carry sports networks has gone up more than 90% in the past 5 years.
"It just got worse and worse and worse and I said, I've had it, I was just waiting for the best deal, so I went with one of the satellite companies," says Michael Calcone of Watervliet who was a TWC customer until just a few months ago.


DA: Guns smuggled on planes in Atlanta an 'egregious' security breach

Atlanta (CNN) -- The breakup of a gun smuggling ring allegedly involving a current and former Delta Air Lines employee has exposed what a New York prosecutor described as an "egregious breach of security" at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Tuesday that the investigation was "deeply troubling" -- not only for the havoc the gun running unleashed on the streets but because of the vulnerability to acts of terrorism on air travel that it revealed.
We have an egregious breach of security" at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport because airport employees "are not required to go through screening," said Thompson.
In total, 153 guns were recovered as part of a complex investigation that Thompson outlined by using charts and surveillance video during a press conference in New York.

  • NEW: "This is an important wake-up call," analyst says of employee screening
  • 153 guns were recovered as part of a complex undercover investigation, DA says
  • Delta employees entering their parking lot and the secure area of the airport aren't screened
  • Agent: After clearing security, the employee met an accomplice in a restroom with a backpack

December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker leaves legacy as one of music's best voices


LONDON — Singer and songwriter Joe Cocker has died, according to the BBC.

Cocker’s hits include “You Are So Beautiful” and “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

He was 70-years old.

December 19, 2014

Thruway passes 2015 budget

Updated: Friday, December 19 2014, 08:11 PM EST ALBANY -- The New York State Thruway Authority Board unanimously passed its 2015 budget with a $36 million deficit. The board did not discuss potentially increasing tolls.

Read  more...  

Cousin arrested in 5-year-old's homicide

Updated: 12/19/2014 3:16 PM
Created: 12/19/2014 12:43 PM
By: WNYT Staff

Police have arrested a cousin in connection with the death of a 5-year-old Kenneth White of Berne.

Tiffany VanAlstyne, 19, is now charged with second-degree murder.

Schodack Transfer Station price increase

Beginning January 1st 2015 the Transfer Station will be CHARGING $14 FOR EACH TELEVISION AND CRT.

Town of Schodack Transfer/Recycling Station

Beginning January 1st 2015 the Transfer Station will be CHARGING $14 FOR EACH TELEVISION AND CRT.

Transfer Station Schedule

Open to Residents
Tuesday: 7 am - 5 pm
Wed-Fri: 7 am - 2 pm
Saturday: 7 am - 3 pm
Closed: Sundays, Mondays and Holidays, as posted

Masterpiece Classic | Downton Abbey Season 4

Watch Sundays, December 21 & 28, 2014 on WMHT TV.
Season 4 of the international hit, Downton Abbey, finds aristocrats coping with last season’s shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance alongside the beloved returning ensemble, including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and a host of others.

December 17, 2014

Schenectady celebrates casino decision

 Created: 12/17/2014 5:29 PM By: WNYT Staff

SCHENECTADY - If it receives final approval -- which it should -- the Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor will be built at the old Alco site on Erie Boulevard. 

The $300 million project will include gaming facilities, restaurants, a banquet facility, hotels and spa. It's expected to create 1,200 permanent jobs and bring in millions in tax revenue. 

December 14, 2014

Second-degree murder

Victim was aid at youth shelter

Man who knew deceased charged with second-degree murder of mother of four
Updated 9:22 pm, Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jamell Steven Modest, 46, of Schenectady, was charged Dec. 14, 2014 in the shooting death of Marika Booth, who also went by Marika Harris. 

Booth was near her infant at the time she was shot and killed.

December 13, 2014

Schenectady Police are investigating a shooting on State Street

Updated: Saturday, December 13 2014, 09:16 PM EST UPDATE:  SCHENECTADY -
 Schenectady Police are investigating a shooting on State Street that claimed the life of a 30 year-old woman. Officers say 30 year old Markia Booth, also known as Markia Harris was shot numerous times in the torso. She was transported to Ellis Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Investigators say witnesses observed a male fled the scene on Linden Street. He was located a short time later near Becker and Elder Street.  Police say he is being interviewed as a person of interest.

Read More at:

December 9, 2014

Free Calendar Listing

Does your organization offer events to the public?  

Let your neighbors know!

Post it for Free on the Schodack SCENE!

December 6, 2014

Hoops Against Hunger Charity Game – Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Schodack Central School District Fundraiser To benefit the Anchor!

Schodack CSD will host the 6th Annual Hoops Against Hunger Charity Basketball Game on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School gym.

December 5, 2014

Follow, comment, contribute

December 3, 2014


Please take Notice, the Village of Castleton-on-Hudson Board of Trustees will hold a Village Economic Development Meeting hosted by the mayor to talk about Village Revitalization, Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm at Village Hall, 85 South Main Street. The public is welcome to attend. 

Pamela Smith, Village Clerk, November 25, 2014



Saturday 13 December
V.E.R.A. sponsors
Valatie WinterWalk 2014

The Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association (V.E.R.A.), in cooperation with the Village of Valatie and the Valatie Santa Claus Club, is proud to sponsor its AnnualWinterWalk and Winter Parade in and along Main Street, Valatie on Saturday, December 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This is a Snow~or~Shine event and will be held unless there are EXTREME weather conditions.

Following our annual Winter Parade on Main Street, Santa will be receiving visitors at our historic Valatie Community Theatre and Mrs. Claus will be in the area, as will Jesters, Tots the Clown, and more fun to be announced!

Several Live Musical performances will occur at various indoor and outdoor venues along Main Street, and several artisans will return from our October festival for encores.

Check out the HayRides, Face-Painting, Artisans, Kettle-Corn, and much more fun to be announced!

Stay in the village for dinner at one of our local caf├ęs, restaurants, and pizza places along Main Street and Route 9. Snap some winter-time pictures of our fabulous waterfalls, and do some holiday shopping at the eclectic mix of stores in the charming and historic village.

Contact: V.E.R.A
tel: 518-610-8164


December 2, 2014

Rolling Stones Death: Saxophonist Bobby Keys Dies at 70

Getty Images
Bobby Keys, the legendary saxophonist for The Rolling Stones, died early Tuesday at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 70.
Michael Webb, the keyboardist in Keys’ band, the Suffering Bastards, announced Keys’ death. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, Keys missed the Stones’ October and November tour dates in Australia and New Zealand and was replaced by veteran saxophonist Karl Denson.
It was his highly recognizable solo on The Rolling Stones‘ 1971 classic, Brown Sugar, that helped solidify a lasting name for himself in the music industry.

California Rain Brings Mudslide Fears, Evacuations

LOS ANGELES — Dec 2, 2014, 9:39 PM ET

Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through parched California on Tuesday, providing some relief from a three-year drought but prompting evacuations in wildfire-scarred communities threatened by mudslides and flooding.
The rain began falling overnight Monday in Northern California, but the heaviest downpours were in Southern California, where recent burns have denuded slopes of the vegetation that helps hold soil in place. Traffic was snarled, and some flights at Los Angeles and San Francisco airports were delayed.

Home intruder arrested in East Greenbush

Shawn Crump Photo: East Greenbush PD
Updated: 11/26/2014 1:42 PM Created: 11/26/2014 1:40 PM
By: WNYT Staff

EAST GREENBUSH- A 17 year old man has been charged with unlawfully entering a private residence in the town of East Greenbush.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday East Greenbush PD received a call about a masked man lurking in a couple’s attached garage on Phillips Road. The suspect was chased by one of the home owners, and managed to escape into a wooded area.

The Sheriff’s police and K-9 units combed the area with a street by street search, and after further investigation apprehended and charged Shawn Crump with criminal trespassing.

Crump has been served with multiple Orders of Protection and has been directed to appear in Town Court on December 1 for further proceedings.

December 1, 2014

Winter Walk & Winter Parade

December 13, 2014 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Main Street, Valatie

Santa and Mrs. Claus will ring in festivities throughout the village. Shop at our stores, sample holiday food and enjoy live music and entertainment until 9 pm.WinterWalk, sponsored by the Village of Valatie in conjunction with the Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association (V.E.R.A.) includes a Winter Parade *with some new performers*, food vendors, artisans, live music, dancers, and entertainment. And sales at local stores, and more. Hay Rides stop at venues in the village. Santa is stationed at the Valatie Community Theatre to listen to kids’ Wish Lists, and Mrs. Claus is always available.  Marionettes, jugglers, Tots the Clown, musicians, musical acts, dancers, and roaming carolers travel up and down the street. Village shops are open teeming with holiday goodies.
There is literally something for everyone!

November 30, 2014

One More Ride: The Hoffman's Playland Story


For 62 years, it's where we brought our children to play and celebrate birthdays for generations. While the 2014 season was its final one, take 'one more ride' to celebrate the history, nostalgia, and memories of Hoffman's Playland. Stories will come to life through original videography, home movies, behind-the-scenes video, and emotional interviews.
Watch the preview...

Missing Ohio State football player found dead

By Dana Ford, CNN
updated 6:12 PM EST, Sun November 30, 2014
(CNN) -- A missing Ohio State University football player has been found dead, authorities said Sunday. Kosta Karageorge, a fifth-year senior, had missed practice Wednesday and hadn't been seen since. Sgt. Richard Weiner, with Columbus police, said that Karageorge died from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 
His body was found inside a Dumpster and identified at the scene through tattoos, Weiner said. A handgun was also recovered at the scene.


QIII launches tablet pilot program

Questar III student Virgil Wellington is using an iPad to complete
an assignment at Sackett Educational Center.
More and more you’ll see it. Doctors, mechanics, pilots and others are switching from the old pad and paper to a more sophisticated tool: the tablet computer. Not only is the tablet computer useful for software and applications specific to those professions, it is proving to be useful in an academic environment as well.
This year Questar III BOCES, along with Schodack CSD, Coxsackie-Athens CSD and Open Room, a division of Classbook, a Schodack-based company that provides advisory services nationwide to help K-12 schools in building lasting digital ecosystems, has implemented a tablet pilot program with select student populations to test this theory in a classroom setting. Teachers are already reporting increased student engagement and organization, and students are excited to come to school.

November 29, 2014

Tanker roll-over closes Thruway eastbound near Schodack

Detours expected until mid-afternoon

Updated 12:09 pm, Saturday, November 29, 2014

A tanker truck roll-over has shut down part of the eastbound New York Thruway Saturday morning near the B-1 exit on I-90, according to New York State Police.
The truck, which rolled over shortly before 9 a.m., has shut down both eastbound lanes of the I-90 New York Thruway Berkshire Connector from exit 21A on I-87 to Exit B2, according to Thruway Spokesman Dan Weiller. The section is expected to remain closed until mid-afternoon.

November 21, 2014

Body found by Hudson River is missing Saint Rose student

Updated: 11/20/2014 5:21 PM Created: 11/20/2014 3:01 PM By: WNYT Staff
The official cause of death is blunt force trauma to the legs pelvis and left arm.  The autopsy also shows that Connor [Trapatsos died the same day he went missing from the College of Saint Rose on Oct. 15.

Schodack Schools, moving forward!

The Capital Project was approved today by a vote of 291 to 153. “We would like to thank everyone in our community who came out to vote,” said Superintendent Bob Horan. “This project will help us prepare out students even better for college and careers by providing modern classrooms that encourage collaboration while making us more efficient so we can put more money into programs instead of buildings.”

November 17, 2014

Schodak's Capital Project Focused on Improving Academics

On Thursday, Nov. 20 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., the Schodack CSD community will vote on a Capital Project that would renovate Maple Hill High School to provide a separate learning community for Gr. 7-8 and more modern, flexible classrooms for Gr. 7-12.

November 16, 2014

Small Business Saturday!

VALATIE NY, November, 29, 2014 – Today the Village of Valatie announced its participation in the fifth annual Small Business Saturday on November 29th.

Falling between Black Friday and Cyber MondaySmall BusinessSaturday celebrates our independent local businesses, who enrich our unique culture, and are essential to the preservation of our local economy.

November 12, 2014

Holy Shit We Landed a Spacecraft on a Comet

Humankind made history this morning when the Rosetta mission made the first-ever landing on a comet.

Big Bang Theory's Mrs Wolowitz dies at the age of 62

The actress best known for playing the unseen role of Howard Wolowitz's mother on The Big Bang Theory has died.  Carol Ann Susi died in Los Angeles on Tuesday from cancer at the age of 62.  Stars of the show have paid tribute to Susi, calling her a "beloved" member of the cast.

November 11, 2014

Saratoga sergeant suspended after video surfaces

Updated: 11/09/2014 11:50 AM Created: 11/08/2014 2:43 PM By: Dan Bazile

HALFMOON - A Saratoga County sheriff's sergeant has been suspended without pay. It comes after a video posted on the internet appears to show him slapping a man.

October 28, 2014

Annual Gala & Auction

Since 1991, STRIDE has hosted an annual gala-style dinner dance as a major fundraiser for our programs. The gala has a different theme each year, but always features dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and a premier live auction and silent auction. Past themes have included wine-tasting, Taste of Freedom, Stetsons and Stilettos, Masquerade Ball, and many more.

October 26, 2014

Castleton Stewart's supporters rally Friday

CASTLETON -- The Friends of Castleton Stewart's group released a documentary about their fight to save the village store, scheduled to close this weekend.

October 21, 2014

Capital Project Community Forum

Capital Project Community Forum – Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m.To help answer questions about the proposed Capital Project, a community forum will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School auditorium.

October 16, 2014

Tranquil Spirit Wellness Open For Business

Begin your journey...
We believe the role of a teacher is to aid you in this inner process, not to make your decisions for you but to empower you in your own journey of discovery.

Click HERE and take at look at what's happening. Click the ad on the left sidebar to view the calendar of events.
Tranquil Spirit Wellness is located at: 1744 Route 9,  Castleton,  12033 (518) 336-4468

October 1, 2014

Police search for sex offender

Created: 10/01/2014 6:36 AM
By: WNYT Staff

Rensselaer Co. - State Police are looking for a Level Three sex offender from Schodack.
State Police say 25-year-old Shane Harding is wanted on a parole violation.

September 24, 2014

Vocational Skills: What Happens When the Boomers Retire?

SCENE Editorials

As baby boomers begin to cash in their retirement, who will be there to fill in the gaps for labor or vocational skills.

What happens when boomers retire and younger generations don’t want to get their hands dirty?

Lab that tested Dewey Loeffel water hit with fine

Suspect captured in case of missing UVa student


By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, Associated Press Updated 8:05 pm, Wednesday, September 24, 2014
This undated photo provided by the Charlottesville, Va. Police Department shows Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. Authorities are again searching the apartment of Matthew, and they believe he is the last person seen with University of Virginia student Hannah Graham before she disappeared.

September 23, 2014

Fall College Fair

180+ Colleges Represented at Fall College Fair – Wednesday, Sept. 24Representatives from more than 180 colleges will take part in the 2014 Fall College Fair at Hudson Valley Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 24 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the McDonough Recreational Center on the HVCC campus. Juniors, seniors and parents interested in speaking with college representatives are encouraged to attend. Admission is free. More info...

September 22, 2014

Capital Region residents voice casino views

Updated: 09/22/2014 5:06 PM
Created: 09/22/2014 9:22 AM
By: WNYT Staff

As any gambler can probably tell you, there's no such thing as a sure bet.
ALBANY - A more than 12-hour public hearing on proposed casinos began at 8 a.m. on Monday at the Holiday Inn Turf on Wolf Road.

September 19, 2014

Fence Jumper at White House Sparks Evacuation

Much of the White House was evacuated on Friday after someone jumped the fence at the executive mansion.

Schodack Police send out a warning after burglaries and car break-ins

Updated: 09/18/2014 5:49 PM
Created: 09/18/2014 5:47 PM
By: Dan Bazile

SCHODACK -- For Winnie Kutchukian and her husband, burglars breaking into their home was shocking enough.
"I think we feel like we've been invaded," she said.


After the Garage Sale, after Lark Fest - September 20 What's for dinner? PIZZA!

September 18, 2014


LarkFEST is New York’s largest one day street festival! It is one of Albany's most anticipated events with 80,000 people expected to attend this year.

September 17, 2014

This is your Brain...

Created: 09/17/2014 5:52 AM

Marijuana industry battling stoner stereotypes DENVER (AP)

Tired of Cheech & Chong pot jokes and ominous anti-drug campaigns, the marijuana industry and activists are starting an ad blitz in Colorado aimed at promoting moderation and the safe consumption of pot.
To get their message across, they are skewering some of the old Drug War-era ads that focused on the fears of marijuana, including the famous "This is your brain on drugs" fried-egg ad from the 1980s.

Read more..