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Stories for October 2013

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Thursday, October 31

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Loud and clear

Troop G’s COMSEC center up, running and covering entire Capital District

New York State troopers are now keeping in contact and responding to emergencies using a new, state-of-the-art communication center at Troop G’s recently finished barracks in Latham.

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Colonie supervisor hopefuls face off in debate

Town finances, transparency key points of discussion

Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan focused on her track record during a recent debate against her opponent, Todd Drake. But so did her challenger.

State OKs farm ‘tax cap’

Agricultural land assessments held to 2 percent increase annually

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Tuesday, Oct. 22, capping agricultural land assessments at 2 percent annually. The measure aims to offer a more stable and predictable tax climate for the state’s agricultural industry.

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Bethlehem to replace radio system

A pair of ‘catastrophic’ communication failures cause town to move up plans

The Bethlehem Police Department will be upgrading it dispatch console earlier then expected, after several radio communication failures occurred in September.

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New faces, new ideas at Bethlehem forum

Candidates for Bethlehem offices discuss plans at event

Candidates for Bethlehem Town Board and Highway Superintendent discuss their plans if elected at a recent forum sponsored by Spotlight News.

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Bethlehem development takes center stage

Supervisor candidates debate what town has done, should do

Economic development was a key point of discussion when the candidates for supervisor of the Town of Bethlehem met in debate.

Wednesday, October 30

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Student steps up to the challenge

Shaker senior school’s first student with special needs to play varsity sport

A local high school student overcame adversity, with the support of her family, coaches, team and community, to become the first special needs student to play a varsity sport at Shaker High School.

Colonie Police urge parents to use their best judgment this Halloween

The Colonie Police Department is asking residents to help keep neighborhoods safe this Halloween. In recent years, certain neighborhoods within the town have attracted large crowds.

Sports poll: What is the toughest way to lose a football game?

In light of some of last week's Section II Class AA playoff results, we want to know what you think is the toughest way to lose a football game.

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Boys soccer: Ishimwe’s goal lifts Albany past Bethlehem

Defending champs fall in Class AA quarterfinals

The Bethlehem boys soccer team knew it was in for a tough game against Big 10 champion Albany in Saturday’s Section II Class AA quarterfinal game. What the Eagles didn’t expect was to come out on the losing end.

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Football: Sentz sends Dutchmen into semifinals

Guilderland escapes Colonie with three-point quarterfinal victory

Just when Colonie thought it had Guilderland on the ropes, the Dutchmen slithered free.

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Football: Blue Bison block their way past Shen

Special teams plays help Shaker advance to semifinals

It took a blocked field goal to get the Shaker football team into the Section II Class AA semifinals.

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Guilderland Chamber president leaving post

Burbank to lead Community Caregivers, credited with transforming organization

Kathy Burbank will be leaving the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce after serving as the organization’s president for six years.

Letter: Walk to School Day quickly becoming a growing tradition

This letter appeared in the Oct. 30, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Editorial: It’s not only candidates on this year’s ballot

This editorial appeared in the Oct. 30, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Tuesday, October 29

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District helps plug into possibilities

Guilderland schools librarians help parents and students become cyber savvy

Guilderland Central School District librarians hosted on Thursday, Oct. 17, a program titled “Cyber Smart: Succeeding in a Digital World,” a series of workshops featuring interactive presentations containing tips for using online tools and accessing district resources.

Water main break in Glenmont

A water main break on Route 9W in Glenmont is causing discolored water in the area.

Stitt Road takeover moves ahead

Guilderland begins eminent domain proceedings to acquire private road

The Guilderland Town Board proceed with plans on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to acquire Stitt Road through eminent domain after Fred Wagner, owner of Helderberg Excavating & Trucking, Inc., requested additional time to finalize a land purchase at the board’s Sept. 17 meeting.

Monday, October 28

Guilderland candidate forum cancelled at last minute

A scheduled forum involving candidates for local office in the Town of Guilderland was called off at the last minute when Democrats said the date and time was not amicable, nearly one month after invitations were first sent.

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Guilderland nips Colonie in high school football section 2 playoff thriller - photo gallery

It came down to one kick with one second left for Guilderland to advance in the Section 2 playoffs against Colonie on Oct. 25.

No contest in New Scotland elections

Insiders say GOP regrouping this year, plans to come out swinging in 2015

The New Scotland Republican Committee offered no candidates for town offices this year. Any voter who is disillusioned with incumbents or with how the town has been governed will likely have to wait another two years.

Sunday, October 27

Guilderland’s proposed budget brings tax decrease

Grimm says budget layout less transparent, Runion argues opposite

Guilderland's revised preliminary budget for next year calls for a property tax levy decrease of around 1.35 percent, or $153,000, for a total of $11.1 million in tax revenues.

Saturday, October 26

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Football: Warnken leads Ravena past Scotia-Glenville

Junior quarterback rushes for 155 yards in Sectional quarterfinal win

Whenever the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk football team needed a big play, David Warnken made it.

Thursday, October 24

Failing grade for school mailings

Vendor mailing error affects Voorheesville and Bethlehem school districts

Plummeting test scores have been a widespread concern this year, but at least two area districts had more to worry about after the results were mailed out.

Gym opt-out on track at BC

District allowed 46 seniors to drop P.E. class this year under state regulations

Some Bethlehem High School students were given the opportunity to opt out of physical education class this year in a new pilot program that could potentially be expanded to help cut costs for the district.

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Array of light at Owens Corning

Solar project would be similar to town’s own vision now in the works

After a nearly four-month installation process, Owens Corning recently celebrated the completion of its large-scale solar generation project on site at the company’s Delmar plant.

Bethlehem candidate forum to air on public access

Bethlehem candidate forum to air on public access

Wednesday, October 23

POV: From muckraking to digging in the dirt

This POV column appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Sports poll: Which team is the favorite to win the Section II Class AA girls soccer title?

This week, we look at the girls' side of the Class AA Sectional soccer tournament and ask you to pick your favorite to win the title.

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New author celebrates first book

Guilderland native releases adventure fiction novel, initial installment of planned series

The first installment of Benjamin Deer’s adventure fiction series, “Emerus: The Beginning,” was welcomed during a launch party on Friday, Oct. 11, with family and friends offering congratulations and hugs to the newly published author.

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Football: Defense carries Voorheesville to victory (with photo gallery)

Blackbirds clinch Class C playoff berth by beating Coxsackie-Athens

The Voorheesville football team is in the Section II Class C playoffs thanks to its defense.

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Photo gallery: Shen vs. Shaker boys soccer

A pair of Chris Schmid goals helped the Shenendehowa boys soccer team beat Shaker 2-0 on Thursday, Oct. 17.

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Frightfully friendly

Guilderland’s Trick-or-Treat Street offers festive indoor activities for local families

Guilderland High School is preparing to host its 10th annual Trick-or-Treat Street Saturday, Oct. 26. The event will see the school’s halls, cafeteria and gymnasium transformed into a Halloween haven.

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Bonefish Grill opens Albany restaurant

Chain restaurant offers fresh seafood, specialty cocktails and Sunday brunch specials

Bonefish Grill, a casual dinning seafood chain restaurant, held its grand opening on Monday, Oct. 7, after holding a charity event benefiting the Capital District Habitat for Humanity the prior Saturday.

Letter: Keep Moquin as clerk

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Dan Cunningham has what it takes

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Kirby for town justice

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Re-elect Reinhardt

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Hyer the best choice for highway super

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Bethlehem United is all talk, no plan

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: DiMaggio has the experience, honesty

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Jasinski’s background a true asset

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Meredith the qualified highway candidate

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Clarkson clear choice over DiMaggio

This letter appeared in the Oct. 23, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Tuesday, October 22

Dementia center gets green light

Peregrine Assisted Living would be one of few homes in area to focus on Alzheimer’s patients

Peregrine Assisted Living, a Syracuse-based company, won approval for the site at 5 South Family Drive in Colonie for their intended facility.

Colonie lets dogs have the run of the park

Fee set at $35 for new dog park registrations

Colonie’s dog lovers officially have a new spot to let their furry friends out for some recreation.

Monday, October 21

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Football: Bison stampede to division title (with photo gallery)

Two early touchdowns help Shaker win Colonie Cup

The Colonie Cup and the Liberty Division title reside in Latham again. The Shaker football team scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes and pulled away for a 49-6 victory over crosstown rival Colonie Friday.

Friday, October 18

Upcoming forum cancelled

We regret that an upcoming candidate forum in the Town of Colonie scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23, is canceled.

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Bethlehem supervisor candidate pitches sporting council

DiMaggio says more can be done to support youth sports

Republican Bethlehem supervisor hopeful Fred DiMaggio is seizing upon recent controversies involving town youth sporting in his latest campaign initiative. The former Republican Committee chairman said if elected, he would like to start a town-wide Youth Sports Council.

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Bethlehem Letter carriers honored

Two Bethlehem Postal Service employees stepped in during medical emergencies this summer

Two Bethlehem letter carriers were honored on Thursday, Oct. 10, by the United States Postal Service and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association after coming to the rescue of two elderly residents while on their routes this summer.

Celebrate fall at the Pruyn House

Greater Loudonville Association hosts family friendly festival

The Greater Loudonville Association is hosting a fall festival to celebrate the season.

Thursday, October 17

New Scotland's proposed budget at tax cap

Supervisor offers $7.2M spending plan tapping $332k from fund balance

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin filed a 2014 Tentative Budget calling for a 1.66 percent property tax levy increase. Expenditures between the town’s four main funds would increase by around $24,500.

Candidate forums approaching

A series of candidate forums are approaching that are sponsored by The Spotlight, the League of Women Voters of Albany County and other local partners.

Wordsmiths in our midst

Guilderland Public Library’s event to focus on local authors

Many in the Capital District may be surprised to learn about number of authors in their midst. A neighbor, coworker or acquaintance could be published, with those around them none the wiser.

Wednesday, October 16

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UPDATE: Guilderland man arrested for setting three buildings ablaze

Guilderland police believe a town resident intentionally burned down three buildings over three months.

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Voorheesville proposes $2.7M project

District scales back proposal for repairs, more projects likely in coming years

Voorheesville High School desperately needs a reconstructed, modern roof, according to district officials, and technology upgrades at all its buildings to prepare for the planned shift to computer-based testing and evaluations.

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Boy Scouts pan Bethlehem sign law

Troop says updated law hurt last year’s Sportsmart sales

A local Boy Scout troop have become publically critical of the Town of Bethlehem’s temporary sign law.

Sports poll: Which team is the favorite to win the Section II Class AA boys soccer title?

For this week's poll question, we're looking at the top five Class AA teams in the Suburban Council and asking you which one you think is the favorite to win Sectionals.

Tuesday round-up: Shaker prevails in OT

Victory over Ballston Spa sets up first-place battle with Shen Thursday

The Shaker boys soccer team pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory over Ballston Spa Tuesday to set up a showdown with Shenendehowa Thursday for the Suburban Council North Division title and the top seed for the Section II Class AA playoffs.

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Smokey the silent: Smokey Bear visits Pine Bush, but has lost his voice over government shutdown

Smokey Bear stopped by the Discovery Center at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve to educate children on forest fire prevention, but due to the government shutdown, he needed some help.

Editorial: County budget: new low tax, same old story

This editorial appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Clarkson’s record shows the real ‘results’

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Cunningham the right man for Town Board

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: One party rule does not serve the people

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Kelly for justice

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: A message to all Bethlehem voters

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Time to redesign and rebuild Exit 4

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Let the truth be told

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Hyer most qualified candidate

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: An independent choice

This letter appeared in the Oct. 16, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Tuesday, October 15

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Police: Delmar man used cab as getaway car

After picking up a Delmar man in Albany, an alert taxi driver notified police his passenger had allegedly burglarized a home and retuned to the cab wanting a ride back to the city, according to police.

Police: GHS student crashes into school bus

A 17-year-old Guilderland high school student allegedly crashed her car into a district school bus after failing to yield the right of way, according to police.

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Football: CBA storms to title

Brothers sack Gallo seven times in victory over Guilderland

By doing something no one else had managed to do all season, the Christian Brothers Academy football team accomplished something it hadn’t done since classification play began in Section II.

Cross country: Johnson brothers lead Colonie at Manhattan Invitational

Garnet Raiders win D division team title

The Colonie boys cross country team ran away with the D division championship at Saturday’s Manhattan Invitational in the Bronx.

Monday, October 14

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Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School Football stuns Amsterdam - Photo Gallery

The Spartans welcomed home alumni on Oct. 12 with a stunning 49-0 victory over Amsterdam. See all the pictures from the game.

Saturday, October 12

Discount drug savings reach $3.5M

Albany County residents filed more than 93,000 prescriptions through program

Hundreds of county residents have paid less for prescription medication by simply presenting a card over the past few years. They’ve racked up $3.5 million in savings.

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New spot for local art

Bethlehem art group’s show at Town Hall hoped to be part of a wider footprint

Bethlehem Town Hall has become a little more colorful this month, as the Bethlehem Art Association brings its first exhibit in decades to the town’s seat of government.

Friday, October 11

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Shedding light on domestic violence

Albany County highlights Domestic Violence Awareness Month, services offered

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, joined by county Chief Assistant District Attorney David Rossi, recognized the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Wednesday, Oct. 2, and honored county Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center Director Karen Ziegler for her efforts.

Sharing more than memories

Guilderland Class of 1978 holds auction to benefit Make-A-Wish

The Guilderland Class of 1978’s reunion on Saturday, Oct. 12, will honor more than 20 deceased classmates through an online auction benefitting the Northeast New York Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Thursday, October 10

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Cross country: Three times a winner

Lansing adds to her Grout Run trophy case; Van Epps wins boys race

Maryanna Lansing did it again. The Shaker sophomore held off a late charge from Queensbury’s Megan Kellogg to win her third straight Grout Run title Saturday at Schenectady’s Central Park.

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Cross country: Booker repeats as Grout Run champion

Bethlehem places second in the boys and girls standings at Schenectady race

Stephen Booker won his first cross country invitational title at last year’s Grout Run in Schenectady. Now, the Bethlehem senior can claim he’s a repeat champion at an invitational.

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Football: Patriots deal Raiders a damaging loss

Rodriguez leads Schenectady past Colonie in critical Liberty Division showdown

The Colonie football team’s dream of winning the Liberty Division title may have come to an end.

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Boys soccer: Dutch in control

Guilderland opens up four-point lead over Bethlehem in South Division race

Guilderland boys soccer coach Mike Kinnally isn’t ready to declare his team the champions of the Suburban Council South Division just yet, but he likes the position the Dutchmen are in.

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Boys soccer: Garnet Raiders turn their focus on Sectionals

Colonie ends three-game skid with goal outburst against Columbia

Colonie boys soccer coach Mike Trimarchi readily admitted that his team is no longer concerned about winning the Suburban Council South Division title.

Housing project plans tweaked

Change to townhomes, cupola confusion and land rights stumbling blocks for Village of New Loudon

Plans for a housing project five years in the making have run into a snag related to design issues and wording.

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Troy is set to chow(der) down

Seventh Annual Troy Chowderfest takes place Oct. 13, with notable updates and additions

The seventh annual Troy Chowderfest will be held in Riverfront Park in Downtown Troy, Sunday, Oct. 13. This year, there will be 17 local restaurants in attendance, competing for a variety of awards, in a day full of food, fun and music.

Wednesday, October 9

Sports poll: Which football team will win the Empire Division title?

We want to know which Empire Division football team you think will finish first this season.

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Toy train on track

Toys for Tots campaign kicks off early with hopes of upping donations by 25 percent

The local Toys for Tots program kicked off its holiday campaign more than a month early this year.

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Passive park in Colonie now open for public use

Ribbon is cut on Mohawk Riverside Landing Park

Colonie’s Mohawk Riverside Landing Park is officially open for public use, a milestone that was marked with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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McCoy offers county budget below tax cap

Proposal would fund county nursing home only to June 2014, planning on LDC takeover

McCoy released his 2014 Executive Budget to county legislators on Tuesday, Oct. 8, which proposes a 1.6 percent tax levy increase and appropriations totaling more than $574 million. The budget includes a three-year financial plan to bolster general fund reserves.

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Fall’s finery

Experts say this fall has already been a banner year for leaf peepers. And locally, the peak is near.

Leaves are big business in New York. By official accounts, the yearly fall foliage fireworks draw billions in tourism dollars. And it is expected this year will offer a sensational season.

Letter: Clarkson’s term marked by success

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: It’s long past time for Silver to resign

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: The right experience for the job

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Voters should remember past come Election Day

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Thanks for a successful Jamboree

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Voters lucky to have Julie Sasso on the ballot

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Brent Meredith for highway super

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Jim Kelly works for Bethlehem

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Editorial: We’ve got you covered this election

This editorial appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: A few points about the Vista Tech Park

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: The proposed budget is solid

This letter appeared in the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

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What you need to know before cosigning a loan

Spotlight on Finance

You might be asked to cosign a loan for a car you don’t drive, a college you don’t attend or a house you don't live in, but that does not change your liability. When you agree to put your name to paper on a joint loan, you’re assuming a risk a lender isn’t willing to take on—and it can have negative consequences, both in the short and long term.

Tuesday, October 8

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Going green, from top to bottom

Officials tour environmentally friendly infrastructure throughout Albany County

The Stormwater Coalition of Albany County hosted a Green Infrastructure Tour Tuesday, Sept. 24, for elected and municipal officials, engineers and other community members to see for sites across the county where green ideas have been implemented to manage stormwater issues.

Monday, October 7

Storm leaves thousands in Bethlehem without power

National Grid’s power outage map as of 5:15 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7, indicated around 4,440 customers in Bethlehem have lost electricity to their property. This accounts for almost a third of the company’s customers in the town.

Sunday, October 6

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Burnt Hills Ballston Lake vs South Glens Falls - Photo Gallery - High School Football

Burnt Hills Ballston Lake dominated South Glens Falls on Oct. 4 with a 60-14 win over the Bulldogs. These are photos from the game.

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CBA downs Ballston Spa - Photo Gallery

Christian Brother Academy beat Ballston Spa 42-0. See all the photos from the game.

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Eagles fall to Saratoga- Photo Gallery- High School Football

Saratoga came back from a tough loss last week and beat Bethlehem 45-14 on Oct. 4.

Friday, October 4

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Voorheesville mayor’s newsletter prompts backlash

Fresh wounds before ambulance contract negotiations, committee proposed

Tensions between Voorheesville officials and its local ambulance service were reignited after the mayor voiced concerns in the village’s seasonal newsletter.

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Guilderland supervisor's home sale turns political

Grimm points to Runion placing home on market, incumbent says he’s downsizing

Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion is selling his 3,200-square-foot home, but he has expressed his intent to stay local and chided his Republican opponent for seizing on the sale as a political topic.

Thursday, October 3

Voorheesville targets two taps for shutoff

Village says leaky pipe has wasted more than 1 million gallons

Voorheesville officials have warned two village homeowners they could soon be without water after more than one million gallons of water has reportedly leaked from their connection since May.

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Drake questions Mahan administration transparency

Oft-referenced 10-year financial plan subject of words disagreement between supervisor candidates

In stepping up his campaign for Colonie town supervisor, Republican candidate Todd Drake has taken aim at his rival’s handling of town finances.

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Guilderland strives for the ‘best day ever’

Guilderland Community Fest offers family fun, proceeds help local nonprofit

Local families have chance for a great time with their neighbors while at the same time helping children who suffer from serious medical conditions have their “best day ever.”

Wednesday, October 2

Cafeteria cuisine comes home

Voorheesville school chef offering dinners to go as a ‘fun’ way to boost revenue

Two weeks ago, Voorheesville Central School District opened its doors and kitchen to the community through a new “Meals to go” dinner program, which is aimed at keeping its school lunch program in the black.

Stitt Road to go public

Guilderland will acquire private road through eminent domain after buses stop running

The Guilderland Central School District put the brakes on traveling down a private road to pick up children, which has spurred town officials to quickly make the road public.

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The ABCs of infant sleeping

Albany County highlights National Baby Safety Month, gives task force progress update

The Albany County Safe Sleeping Task Force’s latest initiative isn’t an exercise in remembering the alphabet, but rather another outreach effort cautioning parents and caretakers to not sleep in bed with an infant.

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Home of the brave

Maple Ski Ridge’s Fall Festival supports oncology camp for women

The purpose of any support group is for people who are in the same situation to get together and share their coping strategies in an effort to not feel alone. One cancer support group is taking it a step further and changing lives in the process.

Letter: Clarkson’s term full of successes

This letter appeared in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Editorial: Make October a colorful month

This editorial appeared in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Editorial: Time to resuscitate relationship

This editorial appeared in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Budget plan raises questions

This letter appeared in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Letter: Support Sasso in her run for Bethlehem Town Board

This letter appeared in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of The Spotlight.

Tuesday, October 1

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Pastor’s calling brings her to Delmar

New head of church a rare occurrence in history of Delmar Presbyterian

For only the third time in 57 years, Delmar Presbyterian Church is welcoming a new pastor. The Rev. Karen Pollan became the church’s new, permanent pastor on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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The pumpkins roll in

McKownville church members get ready for annual Pumpkin Patch

The McKownville United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch is its 14th year.