Stories for August 2013


Saturday, August 31

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D&B advertised as the ‘epicenter for fun’

Dave & Buster’s opens in Crossgates Mall featuring food, drinks, sports and a lot of games

As you walk towards the flashing lights beaming from the “Million Dollar Midway” at Dave & Buster’s, it’s hard not to feel like a kid again.

Friday, August 30

Candidates seek leg. seat in 14th

Alison McLean Lane, Mark Lansing want to officially replace Phil Steck

Two candidates are gearing up their campaigns for the Albany County Legislature’s 14th District.

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UAlbany means business

School unveils $64M business school building, details new major

Business students at the University at Albany will not only have a state-of-the-art building in which to attend classes this fall, but will soon have the choice of a new major.

Thursday, August 29

Sports poll: Which team has the best chance to repeat as Section II champions this fall?

Before area school districts open their doors to students, the Section II sports season is getting in gear.

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Football: Door is open for Dutch

Led by Gallo, Guilderland aims for Empire Division title

Could this be the year the Guilderland football team has waited for?

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Football: Ready to take charge

Colonie wants Liberty Division title Shaker won last year

The Colonie football team wants at least one thing crosstown rival Shaker had last year — the Liberty Division championship.

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Girls soccer: Repeating won’t be easy for the Lady Dutch

Guilderland faces tough Suburban Council field beginning with Bethlehem

Winning the Section II Class AA girls soccer title was a challenge for Guilderland. Repeating the feat will be another challenge.

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Girls soccer: Progress is incremental with Garnet Raiders

Getting more Colonie girls to play soccer year-round part of Southworth’s plan

When you’re trying to build a program from the ground up, success is measured in incremental steps.

New Scotland hires DPW boss

Town adds position to ease workload, post will be part time to start

The Town of New Scotland has hired a retired Bethlehem police officer to the newly created position of Public Works commissioner to address a mounting workload in the DPW office.

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A little help with getting geared up

YMCA joins in to help stuff backpacks in yearly drive for families in need

As school supply lists grow longer with each passing year, so have the number of Bethlehem families who need assistance providing those items for their children.

Wednesday, August 28

Police arrest alleged bank robber

Police catch up with Victor Shear in South Carolina

Police in South Carolina have apprehended the man who allegedly robbed a Slingerlands Trustco Bank last week.

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Hometown overture for returning musician

Bethlehem native to perform acoustic set with band at Swifty’s

An upcoming gig at a pub is more than just another show for Brian Mulkerne, because he’s coming back to where he started strumming a guitar 45 years ago.

Letter: Kirby a model choice for Bethlehem town justice

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Mandated programs need another look

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of the Colonie Spotlight.

Letter: Kushner the clear choice for family court judge

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of the Colonie Spotlight.

Editorial: The right tool for the job

This editorial appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of The Colonie Spotlight.

Letter: With vote intact, use it on Brent Meredith

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Forum reveals the best

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Ritz for highway boss

This letter appeared in the Aug. 28, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

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The line of duty

BC student starts a fundraiser to buy police dogs ballistic vests

Bethlehem High School senior Rachel Piccolino decided to take her canine adoration to the next level by raising money through local animal shelters and hospitals to purchase ballistic vests for police dogs.

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Garden Bistro opens doors in Vista

Second location for young restaurateur to place more focus on lunch

The first eatery in Slingerlands’ Vista Technology Campus is open for business.

Golf: CBA eases past Bishop Gibbons in Big 10

The Christian Brothers Academy golf team defeated Bishop Gibbons 154-189 in Tuesday's Big 10 match at Stadium Golf Course.

Tuesday, August 27

More than a handshake with new agreement

Towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland enter into a formal shared services contract

Bethlehem and New Scotland have been sharing services for years, but both towns just recently approved a formal contract after operating on nothing more than a handshake agreement.

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Let the games begin

Caber tossing, pipes and culture on tap at Scottish Games

The hills of Altamont will come alive with the sounds of bagpipes on Saturday when The Scottish Games, a two-day festival and celebration of all things Scottish, begins.

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Running and gunning

Colonie cop takes top honors in international and unique biathlon competition

Colonie patrolman Louis DiNuzzo won the gold medal in the men’s individual biathlon at the World Police and Fire Games 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which was held Thursday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 10.

Arrest in bank heist, but not the robber

Bethlehem police have arrested a man they say helped a bank robber elude authorities.

Monday, August 26

Police: Man broke into cars, struck woman with beer can

Coeymans police arrested a Troy man on Sunday, Aug. 25, on charges he struck a woman in the face with a beer can and broke into cars at a concert.

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Highway hopefuls meet in debate

Candidate forum features discussion of budget, morale and operations

All four candidates vying for the position of highway superintendent in the Town of Bethlehem met at a forum held at Bethlehem Town Hall on the night of Thursday, Aug. 22.

Sunday, August 25

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Broadway comes to Albany

Palace announces three one-night performances for its Broadway Series

The Palace Theatre recently announced a new Broadway Series for the 2013-14 season, which includes three one-night performances of popular music driven productions.

Saturday, August 24

Police ID bank robbery suspect

Bethlehem police believe they know who robbed the Trustco Bank in Slingerlands Wednesday, and are searching for him.

Friday, August 23

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The brewers bring it on

Annual Battle of the Brews benefits the Red Cross

The 16th Annual American Red Cross Battle of the Brews will be setting up its tents this upcoming Travers weekend, with a taste for everyone from the occasional sipper to the certified cicerone.

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Retiree makes his own tune

After decades as music teacher, new project helps man continue to impart a love of music

Phil Wielewinski spent his entire life playing music and now he's focusing on the piano and singing to create his own unique act, “Me, Myself & I” as a sing-a-long performer for adults around the Capital District.

Sports poll: Are you looking forward to the start of the fall high school sports season?

It's a simple question, but it does imply that summer is about to end.

Thursday, August 22

Massachusetts teen sentenced to four years after robbing pizza delivery man

A Massachusetts man was sentenced to four years in state prison after robbing a pizza delivery man in Colonie, Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced Thursday.

Candidate forum tonight in Bethlehem

Spotlight News, the League of Women Voters and the Capital Area Council of Churches are hosting a candidate forum tonight for candidates running in primary contests in the Town of Bethlehem.

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Lord & Taylor coming back to Crossgates

Retailer plans to open two-story department store in fall 2014

Lord & Taylor will be returning to Crossgates Mall under new ownership, with plans to open its doors in the fall of 2014.

Wednesday, August 21

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Defending champs open camp

Blue Bison will rely on newcomers for 2013 football season

The Shaker football team opened training camp for the 2013 season with holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

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The countdown begins at BC

Bethlehem soccer teams take to the field for first day of practice

The Bethlehem boys soccer team’s Section II Class AA title defense officially began Monday with the first day of practice.

Dutchmen hit several highs during season

Davey named PGCBL Manager of the Year following playoff appearance

Nick Davey was named the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Manager of the Year after he guided the Albany Dutchmen to their first playoff appearance in the team’s five-year history.

New fracking law questioned

Republican lawmakers claim lack on environmental review compromises law

The Albany County Legislature passed a local law last week to keep hydrofracking waste out of the county, but some members of the Republican minority are asking the county executive to veto the law on procedural grounds.

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Athletics reach Stan Musial World Series again

Former ValleyCat helps local team during ATL season

The Albany Athletics won its second straight North Atlantic Regional title, which resulted in another trip to the AABC Stan Musial World Series.

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BC Babe Ruth wins All County tourney

Bethlehem beats Rotterdam in wild 10-inning title game

The Bethlehem Babe Ruth 15-year-old All Stars needed two days and 10 innings to defeat Rotterdam 13-12 for the All County tournament title.

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Rally targets Iran policy

Women Against War urge negotiation during Food Festival demonstration

The group Women Against War rallied during the Empire State Plaza Food Festival on Wednesday, Aug. 14. A group of about a dozen members spoke out against the idea of the country entering a war with Iran.

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UPDATE: Police search for bank robber in Slingerlands

Police have swarmed the area near the Trustco Bank in Slingerlands, closing off a part of New Scotland Avenue.

State Police initiative aims to keep thruway safe

State Police and the state Thruway Authority on Wednesday, Aug. 21, announced the initiative “Operation Summer Brake” will begin Monday, Aug. 26, and continue through Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2.

Letter: County’s law invalid

This letter appeared in the Aug. 21, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Kirby has experience

This letter appeared in the Aug. 21, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Meredith best choice for highway super

This letter appeared in the Aug. 21, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Appointment paves the way for conflict of interest

This letter appeared in the Aug. 21, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Tuesday, August 20

County’s credit rating stable

Rating services credit economic development, urge reining in expenses

Moody’s Investors Service assigned an “Aa3” rating for the county’s bonds sold earlier this month, and Standard & Poor’s assigned a similar “AA” rating. The county also had Moody’s affirm the same “Aa3” rating for its $248 million of outstanding debt.

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Reel issues

An industry upgrade is threatening the survival of drive-ins, including Glenmont’s Jericho Drive-In

Drive-ins and independent movie theaters are being forced to upgrade to digital projection machines as the movie industry begins to phase out the use of 35mm film.

Bethlehem names new planning director

Delaware Avenue enhancements top the list of priorities for Rob Leslie

The Bethlehem Town Board unanimously voted to appoint former Deputy Planner Rob Leslie to the position of planning director.

Monday, August 19

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Reading in the digital age

Digital Bookmobile to stop at William K. Sanford Town Library

The Digital Bookmobile national tour will stop at the William K. Sanford Town Library in Loudonville on Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and showcase the OverDrive eBook lending service offered by the Upper Hudson Library System.

Friday, August 16

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A day at the races

A Spotlight reporter spends time behind the wheel sizing up some high-speed go-karts

Fastrax Raceway, located in Crossgates Commons, features go-karts that go beyond traditional speeds associated with open-air racing machines, and the media was invited to see just how fast that meant on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Thursday, August 15

Sports poll: Should Section II football consider hosting all five of its finals at the new University at Albany football stadium?

With Section II already holding its Class AA football final at Bob Ford Field in November, we want to know if all five finals should be held at the University at Albany's new 8,500-seat stadium.

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Final touches for new stadium

Bob Ford Field upgrades UAlbany’s football and soccer programs

Workers are in the midst of placing the final touches on Bob Ford Field, the new home of the University at Albany’s football and soccer teams.

Colfer leaps into DI coaching post

Colonie Central High School graduate takes the reins at the University at Albany

Caitlin Colfer is making the leap from the NCAA Division III to the Division I level.

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Guilderland Nighthawks prepare for Cooperstown

Pine Bush LL team wins Utica Wood Bat Tournament

The Guilderland Nighthawks won the recent Utica Wood Bat Tournament as they prepared for their trip to the Cooperstown Field of Dreams complex.

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Tradition gets its own recognition

Altamont Fair’s museums are the star attraction for volunteers, history lovers

Every year, the Altamont Fair draws thousands of people with its flashier facets, from the newest rides to a destructive demolition derby. But for a slew of volunteers, the main attraction is one that flings you back in time.

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Perfect fit

Habitat ReStore finds new, larger home

After only five years at its original location, the Habitat for Humanity Capital District ReStore has outgrown its home on North Pearl Street in Albany and will be opening new, much larger doors on Fuller Road this month.

Wednesday, August 14

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The apples are on

Growers say it’s back to business after last year’s poor apple crop

The New York State Apple Association is expecting the upcoming yield of the state’s official fruit to be strong given “near-perfect” growing conditions bolstered production to typical levels.

Test scores tumble after Common Core implementation

Around 70 percent of students are below the grade, new baseline established

State Education Commissioner John King Jr. on Wednesday, Aug. 7, released results of April assessment test results in mathematics and English language arts for third- to eighth-grade students, and only 31 percent of students statewide met or exceeded proficiency standards.

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Albany man sentenced to six months for abandoning puppies

An Albany man was sentenced to six months in the Albany County Correctional Facility for animal cruelty charges, District Attorney David Soares announced Tuesday, Aug. 13.

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Schenectady man sentenced to 10 years for Best Western robbery

A Schenectady man was sentenced to 10 years in State Prison after robbing a motel in Colonie this February, District Attorney P. David Soares announced Tuesday.

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Local dance studio's quest reaches the stars

Colonie dance team gains national traction

Just last month, The World of Dance studio’s dance team was named the Federation of Dance Competitions Studio of Excellence for 2013 at the StarQuest National dance competition in Virginia Beach, Va., making it the third year the studio took home the top prize out of 55 other studios nationwide.

UPDATE: Slingerland family reunion

Information on the Slingerland family reunion that appeared on page 14 of the Aug. 14 Spotlight erroneously included details from a previous reunion and should be disregarded.

LETTER: Meredith qualified for highway job

This letter appeared in the Aug. 14, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

EDITORIAL: All roads lead to voting

This editorial appeared in the Aug. 14, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

LETTER: Kelly an excellent choice for justice

This letter appeared in the Aug. 14, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

EDITORIAL: Failure a first step to success

This editorial appeared in the Aug. 14, 2013, edition of the Colonie and Loudonville Spotlight newspapers.

Tuesday, August 13

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Police: Cards compromised at buffet

Police link identity thefts to employee of Glenmont restaurant

Two days after four employees of Golden Town Buffet Hibachi & Sushi in Glenmont were arrested on charges of identity theft and deportation warrants, the restaurant’s owners were issued a citation for having too many occupants living upstairs.

Pups get their own place

Colonie to construct two town dog parks, spurred by public interest

Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan recently announced the town is constructing two dog parks, with one at the Colonie Mohawk River Park and the other on town property adjacent to the Colonie Town Golf Course.

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Making the right moves with ‘The Wrong Box’

Eleven-year project comes to fruition for local musician, composer

As an enthusiast of 19th century obscure literature, Kit Goldstein Grant stumbled across a goldmine when she found a rare novel by Robert Louis Stevenson in her childhood home. Goldstein Grant, who was beginning to get a knack for composing musicals, read the novel and immediately began writing songs and a script based on the story. She saw the characters coming to life and wanted to see them come across the stage.

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All’s fair in Altamont

Three-county event marks 120th year, offers more than thrill rides and good eats

The Altamont Fair is opening its gates and welcoming patrons for its 120th year on Tuesday, Aug. 13, featuring many of the popular attractions people look forward to every year, with some new ones mixed into the three-county celebration as well.

Monday, August 12

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Fitness and fun reach new heights

Guilderland reopens rock-climbing wall housed in historic barn to public

The Guilderland Rock Adventure Barn, or GRAB, reopened to the public last month after closing its doors several years ago following waning interest. Public use of GRAB is limited to Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of August.

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Going green with your banking and life

Spotlight On Finance

When it comes to going green, it’s not a matter of wasting less or conserving more. It’s not even about reducing your carbon footprint. It’s about making choices that are good for your health and the environment. Not coincidentally, many of these “green” choices are also good for your bank account.

Friday, August 9

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Sports poll: Will you go to more UAlbany football games in the new stadium?

The finishing touches are being put on Bob Ford Field -- the new home for the University at Albany football team, as well as its men's and women's soccer teams.

State feeling good about real estate

Siena study finds attitudes about market are definitely positive

A study released by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College last week found that for the first time in almost four years, the state’s residents feel the real estate market is on the upswing.

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Activists, lawmakers urge to pass Local Law C

Anti-fracking protesters say process byproduct is toxic

Lawmakers and local and statewide activists stood outside of the Albany County Courthouse last Tuesday voicing their concerns about keeping hydrofracking waste off the streets of Albany County.

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Police: Three arrested for animal cruelty

Dog found abandoned on Route 9W

Bethlehem Police have arrested three people in connection with an investigation into an abandoned dog found along Route 9W in Glenmont.

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Family focus at Menands market

Event to feature hayrides, raffles, music, fresh produce and more

Spotlight News will once again be sponsoring Family Day at the Capital District Farmers Market in Menands.

Thursday, August 8

Clarksville convenience store burglary leads to three arrests

Three men have been arrested and charged in connection to a burglary of the QWIX Mart on Delaware Turnpike in Clarksville.

Erratic driver complaint leads to DWI, drug charges

Guilderland police arrested a Troy man for allegedly driving while impaired and possessing drugs after receiving a complaint about a gray Honda driving “all over the road,” according to police reports.

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Tony award winner honors his roots

Early inspiration led Altamont native toward theater fame

Leon Rothenberg wanted to share his Tony award accolades with those who helped shaped him as an artist early on, so he come back home to honor his roots and mentors.

Town tightens leash on motels

Colonie passes new restrictions on the expansion of motels

After a second public hearing Thursday, July 25, the Colonie Town Board voted unanimously to pass a local law that would regulate the expansion and construction of hotels and motels along Central Avenue.

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Longtime public servant takes on another role

Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider named to top post with State Association of Chiefs of Police

Steven Heider has never left the Colonie Police Department and has moved up its ranks to become the fifth chief of police in the town. Just last week, he took on his newest responsibility as the president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, a voluntary agency created to help serve the people of New York, maintain law and order, as well as exercising democracy in government, a role Heider was eager to fill.

Tour helps seniors find best fit

Local facilities present options at ‘parade’

The Capital Region branch of Choice Connections, a free senior housing advisory service, is putting on their second Senior Parade of Homes this September right in Colonie. The full-day “parade” will take a busload of seniors to explore some of the area’s independent and assisted living senior communities.

Another hotel eyes Wolf Road

Planners say the need is there, based on occupancy rates

Developer Howard Carr presented his project as a sketch plan review before the Colonie Planning Board Tuesday, July 16, for a five-story hotel, two national chain restaurants and a national retailer on one location at the current site of the Lazare Lincoln dealership at 144 Wolf Road.

Wednesday, August 7

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Neighboring state parks to merge

Public hearing yields support for Thacher and Thompson’s Lake draft master plan

he New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on Thursday, Aug. 1, held a public hearing on its draft master plan and draft environmental impact statement for Thacher and Thompson’s Lake state parks at New Scotland Town Hall.

Clarkson urges IDA webcast

Supervisor says move would promote disclosure and productivity

Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson and other members of the town board are once again encouraging Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency members to webcast their meetings for reasons of transparency and efficiency.

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A camp of their own

Bethlehem Senior Services program invites residents 60 and older to relive summer camp experience

Bethlehem’s Senior Service Department will be holding a two-day senior summer camp at Brauer Educational Center in South Bethlehem.

Colonie police investigate bottle bomb

The Colonie Police Department is investigating a bottle bomb detonation that took place Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 5:21 a.m. on Central Avenue near Locust Park.

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A rodeo way of life

On summer weekends, the Double M in Ballston Spa feels a lot like the Wild West

Step through the gates at the Double M Rodeo in Ballston Spa on any Friday or Saturday evening in July and August and you will feel like you stepped into the Wild West.

Tuesday, August 6

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Guilderland PD to host a ‘night out’

National event marks 30th anniversary connecting police to community

The Guilderland Police Department Community Service Unit is hosting the local Night Out, which is the nationwide event’s 30th anniversary, on Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Tawasentha Park.

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UPDATED: Identity thefts stem from Chinese buffet

Credit and debit card information compromised at Glenmont restaurant

The Bethlehem Police Department have arrested four employees of Golden Town Buffet Chinese restaurant in Glenmont after obtaining a search warrant for an investigation involving identify theft.

Police: Albany man left child at bouncy bounce

An Albany man was arrested for allegedly leaving a 5-year-old child at a "bouncy bounce ride" at the African American Family Day festival while he attended a concert, according to police.

Monday, August 5

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College football: Great Danes start preparing for CAA

A new stadium comes with move to a new conference

A new era in University at Albany football history began with Monday’s first practice.

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Extra inning madness

Anthony Marks’ 10th-inning single gives the Albany Dutchmen their first home playoff win

The Albany Dutchmen’s season ended Sunday, but not before they made some franchise history.

Friday, August 2

Sports poll: What should the punishment be for athletes found to have used steroids once?

In light of the current steroids scandal in Major League Baseball, we want to know what you think the punishment should be for first-time offenders.

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Baseball club cries foul

Sports group asks town to step up to the plate and pitch in with maintenance

Leaders of a youth baseball club in Bethlehem are blaming town officials of being uncooperative when it comes to dealing with maintenance issues at a town field, but department leaders counter they’ve been working on the issue for some time.

Thursday, August 1

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Hamilton Square renovations move ahead

VENT Fitness opens, M&T breaks ground, Starbucks brewing at Guilderland plaza

Hamilton Square, formerly named 20 Mall, is looking to redefine not only the plaza’s name, but also what residents have come to expect of its offerings.

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Big screen comes to town

Ballston Spa Film Festival promises family fun, showcases young filmmakers

The sixth annual Ballston Spa Film Festival will start rolling the movie reels on Friday, Aug. 2, with more than 40 short films featured during the two-day event.