Quantcast

Back to profile

John Purcell

Stories by John

Tease photo

Embracing the absurd

Guilderland native pens first book with a cast of zany characters and adventures

More than a decade after a local man started writing a book in college, he dusted off the novel of absurd comedy to see the words finally make it to the printed page.

Tease photo

Chef’s cuisine drawing lines after school

New take-out program generating additional revenue for district

Balancing the books of a school’s food service program amid more strict federal lunch guidelines has led some districts to opt out of the new requirements and lose the funding tied to those guidelines. Voorheesville Central School District though is coming closer to getting out of the red without the federal funds with meal options for students and families.

Tease photo

Local projects win big in REDC awards

Rail Trail comes closer to being completed; arts venues receive grants

Nearly $83 million will flow to the Capital Region through the latest round of Regional Economic Development Council awards, and nearly 30 projects in Albany County nabbed funding. Most of them focused on highlighted projects, but several local priorities were also granted funding.

Tease photo

Police: Teen shoplifter used pepper spray

An Albany teen allegedly pepper sprayed two loss prevention officers, a Macy’s employee and a shopper while attempting to steal merchandise from the store, according to police reports.

Albany County budget within tax cap

Legislators amend proposal to fund nursing home through 2014

Albany County lawmakers adopted its first budget within the state mandate tax cap amid an amended proposal to continue funding the county nursing home through next year.

Guilderland music program receives accolades

High school selected as Grammy Signature Schools semi-finalist

Guilderland Central School District announced its high school was selected as a 2014 Grammy Signature Schools semi-finalist on Friday, Dec. 6. The Grammy Signature Schools program recognizes public high schools making an “outstanding commitment” to music education.

Tease photo

Crossgates expansion clears another hurdle

Rendering unveiled alongside revised site plan; World of Beer coming to mall

Crossgates Mall developers heeded concerns of Guilderland Planning Board members and revised its site plan to more clearly show impacts of the proposed two-story addition, along with a more attractive exterior design.

Voorheesville voters approve $2.7M project

Severe snowstorm leads to sparse turnout at school’s polls

Fewer than 200 people cast a ballot Tuesday, Dec. 17, on Voorheesville’s proposed $2.7 million bond project, which passed with 131 votes in favor and 52 votes against.

Savings unclear for Guilderland's reduced substitute rate

School board debates reduced pay-rate amid rising costs for long-term subs

Guilderland Superintendent of Schools Marie Wiles presented an update on substitute teaching expenses at the Board of Education’s meeting Tuesday, Dec. 10. Wiles stressed concrete conclusions could not yet be drawn on the affects of reducing the pay-rate.

Tease photo

More fallout from ‘Guilderland sophomore rap’

Lawyer says cops overzealous in publicizing cyberbullying arrests

A lawyer for one of the four Guilderland teens charged under Albany County’s cyberbullying law said he is concerned with the way the Guilderland Police Department publicized the arrests, although police said the incident was handled the same as the department would any other case.

Tease photo

Crossgates Mall ready to make room for more

Expansion would include space for two restaurants and two entertainment attractions

A small expansion at Crossgates Mall is planned to make way for two new restaurants and two entertainment attractions, but Guilderland planning board members were concerned about the lack of information provided at a recent meeting.

Tease photo

Voorheesville voters to decide $2.7M project

District proposes reconstructing roof, upgrading technology for future demands

Voorheesville school officials are hoping a scaled-back capital project targeting what it has deemed to be essential improvements will be approved by voters.

Tease photo

Albany County Styrofoam ban becomes law

McCoy announces green initiatives alongside signing bill, looks to expand ban past chains

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed the Food Service Waste Reduction Act into law Thursday, Dec. 12, at Bethlehem Town Hall flanked by local officials. The law bans polystyrene foam food containers and requires such businesses using disposable food service ware to use a “suitable, alternative product” that is compostable or biodegradable.

UPDATE: Minor crash delays Altamont school bus

Altamont Elementary School students on bus route 46 were involved in what district officials called a “minor accident” on their ride home, but there were no injuries reported.

Tease photo

Safety program gets cars fitted for the road

CarFit helps older drivers stay safe behind the wheel

CarFit volunteers converged at Westmere Fire Department on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to make seniors aware about vehicle safety equipment and to fit cars to each individual. Information is given to enhance driver safety, too, along with recommending certain items that can be purchased to make driving safer.

Making way for Western Avenue walkers

Business sign must move for Route 20 sidewalk, several acquisitions along roadway

Before pedestrians step foot on newly installed sidewalks along Western Avenue, several property acquisitions must be completed. For one building housing a few businesses, that means moving its sign and making up for lost parking spaces.

Tease photo

Altamont a holiday hot spot

Community group to host annual Victorian celebration

The village will be transformed into a festive hot spot during Altamont Community Tradition’s 12th annual Victorian Holidays Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 15, from noon to 6 p.m.

Tease photo

Grocers raise concerns over Styrofoam ban

McCoy holds public hearing on proposed law, most residents urge approval

Leading supermarket chains voiced qualms over the Albany County Legislature’s recently adopted Food Service Waste Reduction Act, but not over the most contentious proposal banning Styrofoam containers.

Tease photo

Voorheesville ambulance contract talks stabilize

Village and service company near agreement after sheriff intervenes

Voorheesville Area Ambulance Service members and village officials have locked horns for months over contract differences, but in recent talks, the atmosphere has become surprisingly civil as next year’s agreement deadline nears.

Tease photo

One for the books

Colleagues praise retiring Voorheesville Library Youth Services director’s passion and creativity

Connecting with young readers of all ages is what attracted Joyce Laoisa to Voorheesville Public Library around 16 years ago. Although a library’s role has changed over time, her mission to inspire children remained steadfast.

Tease photo

On the right path

Party set to celebrate Rail Trail portion opening; further improvements eyed for bicyclists

Friends of the Rail Trail will celebrate the official opening of a new three-mile section running through New Scotland as efforts continue toward expanding the trail’s size and usage.

Tease photo

Dance series aims to bring crowds to their feet

Old Songs hosts monthly gatherings featuring simple moves and a social element

Dancing isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but one local man bets he can get even the most reluctant of dancers off the sideline and moving in no time.

Tease photo

National Grid braces for season’s storms

Company spending $3B to upgrade electric infrastructure

Tackling some of what the worst winter storms inflicts has National Grid “hot stick” workers preparing for the chilly reality of living in the Northeast.

Tease photo

Thacher Park enhancements plan finalized

Rock climbing, caving, mountain biking and more trails pitched for park

A series of improvements are being planned for John Boyd Thacher State Park and Thompson’s Lake Park. Capital improvements and operational enhancements will occur during the next 10 to 15 years.

New Scotland’s $7.16M budget within tax cap

Town Board adopts spending plan raising taxes 1.7 percent, reserves tapped for $334k

The New Scotland Town Board on Wednesday, Nov. 13, unanimously adopted next year’s budget totaling almost $7.16 million and holds an overall property tax levy increase of 1.7 percent.

Tease photo

Holidays bring identity theft and counterfeit currency

DA's Office provides tips for consumers and retailers to combat crimes

Albany County District Attorney David Soares is warning people to be aware of the potential for identity theft and counterfeit currency as the holiday shopping season kicks off.

Tease photo

Burn off that bird

Local events let people run, walk or dance away those Thanksgiving calories

With Thanksgiving a few days away, some people are looking for ways to keep themselves off the couch and the calories at bay.

Flag law honors fallen Guilderland native solider

Flags lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol in honor of a fallen soldier will be given to loved ones at no cost through a new law named after a Guilderland native.

Tease photo

UPDATE: Guilderland students arrested for ‘vulgar’ YouTube rap

Police charge four teens under Albany County cyberbullying law

Four Guilderland students allegedly involved in the explicit rap song posted online, which detailed alleged sexual encounters of students, have turned themselves in on criminal charges.

Tease photo

Styrofoam banned at chain food businesses

Albany County Legislature makes decision amidst community support, industry outcry

The Albany County Legislature on Tuesday, Nov. 12, approved the Food Service Waste Reduction Act by a vote of 24-12, which prohibits usage of polystyrene foam containers, commonly known as Styrofoam, at chain food service businesses. The ban will be effective in six months.

Lafarge modernization plan moves forward

Final approval granted for extension to build new kiln, strengthened pollution standards

Lafarge North America has received the final approval on an amended settlement granting additional time to construct a new kiln while further reducing pollution at its Ravena cement plant.

Tease photo

Thanks comes naturally

Thacher Nature Center holds annual celebration connecting families to natural gifts

Fast approaching is the mad dash to retail stores for once-a-year deals on the hottest merchandise, but there’s one event coming up that allows people to slow down and connect with nature before the big feast that kicks off the holiday season.

Tease photo

All the trimmings close to home

Give thanks to area farmers, businesses by buying local ingredients

A bounty of area businesses and markets make shopping local for all the ingredients of a customary Thanksgiving dinner a relatively easy task.

Tease photo

Guilderland Chamber names interim leader

Membership drop forecasted as business owners shift to state health insurance exchanges

The Guilderland Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday, Nov. 7, its membership and program manager, Erika Gauthier, was selected as interim president. Gauthier will lead the Chamber for approximately six months as its board of trustees searches for a new president and strategically plan the direction of the organization.

Tease photo

Guilderland school voters OK $17.3M proposal

Second referendum fails, sidelining football field light replacements and auditorium upgrades

Guilderland Central School District on Thursday, Nov. 14, presented residents with two building project propositions totaling $18.17 million. The first proposal totaling $17.32 million passed, but the second proposition, totaling around $845,000 failed by a narrow margin.

Tease photo

Leashing in school safety

District plans to bring in K9 for locker searches; prior school shooting almost attempted

Guilderland school officials are implementing several measures to address safety issues, but the one attracting the most attention involves man’s best friend.

Guilderland swiftly adopts $32M budget

Spending plan holds tax decrease, expenses and budgeted revenues increasing

The Guilderland Town Board held a public hearing on its proposed 2014 budget Thursday, Nov. 7, but no residents shared any remarks on the spending plan. Following the lackluster hearing, the board unanimously approved the budget.

Tease photo

UPDATE: Four Guilderland students suspended for ‘cyberbullying’ video

High school boys name students in explicit rap song, video removed from YouTube

Four Guilderland High School students have been suspended for posting a video to YouTube consisting of a rap song detailing alleged sexual encounters of students in the school.

Tease photo

Festival for the minds

MiSci to hold Super Science Weekend, Dudley Observatory kicks off activities

Realizing the richness of the area’s science offerings will be a simple calculation at an upcoming inaugural science festival.

Tease photo

Making the most of waste

Albany County unveils $8.6 million technology generating clean energy from sewage

Albany County Sewer District and state officials have done just that, unveiling Wednesday, Oct. 30, a new multi-stage combined heat and power system at the county’s North Plant.

Tease photo

Guilderland Players to present ‘Night Watch’

Thriller is a change of pace for high school acting troupe

The fall production for Guilderland High School’s drama club diverges from its typically comedic selection and turns to “Night Watch,” written by Lucille Fletcher.

Tease photo

Building improvements up to Guilderland voters

Majority of GCSD's $18M project tied to infrastructure renovations; low turnout at meeting

Guilderland Central School District residents will head to the polls again on Thursday, Nov. 14, just over a week after Election Day to decide two building project propositions totaling $18.17 million.

Tease photo

UPDATED: Guilderland GOP bids fall short

Democrats sweep town races, Runion reelected to eighth term as supervisor

Guilderland Republicans presented a full slate of candidates for the first time in a decade, but failed to pick up any seats against Democrat incumbents and newcomers.

Tease photo

Paint is dry at new artistic haven

Albany Art Room reopens at new location, owner committed to staying in city

Finding a permanent home for a local business catering to artists of all ages ended up taking much longer than watching paint dry.

Tease photo

Guilderland sidewalk project on track

Residents near Western Ave. corridor want DOT to also target drainage

Residents and business owners were invited to share comments about proposed sidewalk improvements along Western Avenue in Guilderland, but most thoughts centered on drainage issues and fears that future repairs would require new sidewalks to be ripped out and repaved.

Tease photo

Make it quick

TSA ‘Pre-Check’ security program takes off at Albany Airport

Some passengers will be flying through the security checkpoint at Albany International Airport thanks to a recently implemented expedited screening program.

Tease photo

Rail Trail expansion underway

Three-mile section in New Scotland to open this fall, Albany portion eyed for 2015

Enhancements to two bridges along the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail are progressing, and a three-mile section of the trail through New Scotland is expected to open next month.

Tensions are showing on Guilderland school board

Retreat to solve conflicts causes finger pointing before it even begins

Guilderland Board of Education members are scheduled to hold a retreat next month to work out their differences, but some internal tensions spilled out into public before they could get away.

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.

Tease photo

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.

(Continued on Next Page)