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Editorial

John Purcell

Reporter
518-439-4949 Ext: 429

John Purcell has worked at Spotlight News for more than three years and covers Albany County suburbs.

Purcell covers the towns of Guilderland and New Scotland, the villages of Altamont and Voorheesville and Albany County news and feature stories. He also covers the school districts of Guilderland and Voorheesville. Previously, he covered Schenectady County for Spotlight News.

In the New York Press Association's 2011 Better Newspaper Contest he received third place honors in Spot News Coverage for his story on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Also, in NYPA's 2010 contest he received honorable mention for best news story.

Before joining Spotlight, he interned at The Legislative Gazette covering state government. He graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in Journalism. Also, he is a Schenectady County native.

Recent Stories

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Clucking continues over chicken proposal

Guilderland zoning board to rule on resident’s fowl request

Uncertainty still looms over a Guilderland man’s proposal to keep chickens behind his house, but it’s clear opinions on both sides haven’t swayed.

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Guilderland conditionally approves rezone for apartments

Town Board sends Wolanin project to Planning Board for site plan review

Several years after Wolanin Companies proposed rezoning property off Western Avenue for a luxury apartment complex, the request has been granted, conditionally. The contentious project still faces more hurdles before final approval.

Revisions eyed for Albany County Charter

Committee formed to tackle review commission recommendations

Albany County legislators have formed a committee to evaluate what recommendations from the Charter Review Commission’s report should be implemented.

Voorheesville plans to exceed tax cap

Village Board finalizes $2.05M budget, 4.5 percent tax levy hike

No residents on Monday, April 7, spoke during a low-key public hearing on Voorheesville proposed budget. Local officials, while not advertising the move, are looking to exceed the tax cap.

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Outdoor fire quelled near Farnsworth Middle School [photo gallery]

Cause of blaze remains under investigation, limited damage to area

More than two-dozen first responders were at the scene of a small fire near the edge of the Farnsworth Middle School’s baseball field. The fire started around 5 p.m. Monday, April 21, and was extinguished approximately a half-hour later.

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New Scotland reviewing solar panel options

Company estimates photovoltaic system would be $93.6K savings over 20 years

Sunny days could be ahead for New Scotland if energy savings from a photovoltaic system are as much as an area company forecasts. The system would also provide more reliable energy costs.

State Police to conduct speeding crackdown

Weeklong campaign will also focus on aggressive and distracted driving

State Police will hold a “Speed Week” campaign from Thursday, April 17, through the following Thursday, which focuses on increased enforcement of speeding and aggressive driving violations. The campaign seeks to reduce speed-related crashes and improve traffic safety.

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Guilderland school board OKs $92M budget

Spending plan within tax cap, largely unchanged from superintendent’s initial proposal

The Guilderland Board of Education on Tuesday, April 8, unanimously adopted a 2014-15 budget totaling slightly more than $92.13 million, which increases spending around $1.1 million, or 1.22 percent. The budget holds a property tax levy increase of 1.94 percent.

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Lafarge breaks ground on plant modernization

Ravena facility renovation will replace kilns and cut emissions, retain jobs

Federal, state, and local officials and business leaders gathered on Friday, April 11, for Lafarge North America’s groundbreaking ceremony at its Ravena plant. The project will replace the more than 50-year-old equipment with “state-of-the-art” technology.

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Altamont budget keeps property taxes flat

Village board adopts 2014-15 totaling $2.14M, taps reserves

The Altamont Board of Trustees adopted a $2.14 million 2014-15 budget at the beginning of the month, which increases spending almost 1.65 percent or around $34,650. More general fund reserves are tapped to help ease the tax burden.

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