Displaying items by tag: saratoga

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 14:08

Man Charged in Connection with Multiple Burglaries

BALLSTON SPA – A 25-year-old Clifton Park man was charged in connection with multiple burglaries and thefts in residential neighborhoods in the Crescent Road, Moe Road, Lapp Road and Grooms Road areas of Clifton Park.   

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the incidents since Oct. 4 during which residents have reported that their homes have been entered during the overnight hours while they were sleeping and items, including purses and wallets, have been stolen. Other residents reported that items were stolen from their vehicles and/or they saw a suspicious subject near their home on their home security systems, according to authorities. Most of the stolen items, excluding the cash, were located discarded in the area after the thefts.

In the early morning hours of Oc. 15, the Sheriff’s Office responded to several residences in the Moe Road area of Clifton Park who reported burglaries and thefts. An alert deputy sheriff in the area spotted a man walking on Moe Road and stopped to speak to him. Sheriff’s Office investigators also responded and resulted in Tyler E. Lester being charged with 8 counts of Burglary in the Second-Degree, 3 counts of Attempted Burglary in the Second-Degree, 1 count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth-Degree, 1 count of Petit Larceny and 1 count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh-Degree.

Lester was arraigned by Judge Hughes in Clifton Park Town Court and is currently being held in the Saratoga County Jail on no bail. NYS Parole has also lodged a parole warrant for Lester for violating his parole. Lester is currently on parole for burglary.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a public thank you to the residents of the Town of Clifton Park for assisting with this investigation by reporting the suspicious circumstances.

Published in News
Friday, 11 October 2019 11:53

Election 2019: The Countdown Begins

SARATOGA SPRINGS – In less than one month, voters will head to the polls to choose from a pool of 11 candidates who are vying for seven city positions.  Election Day is Nov. 5. The seven seats each carry two-year terms and begin in January 2020.

The two candidates seeking the office of public safety commissioner - Robin Dalton (R,C,I), and Kendall Hicks (D) - met face-to-face this week, engaging in a discussion forum at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church on Oct. 7

The focus topic: “Immigration, Public Safety and Community.” Terry Diggory, of the Saratoga Immigration Coalition, acted as event moderator. “Although immigration is currently debated as an issue of national security, public safety at the local level requires fostering a community where everyone, including immigrants, can feel safe and welcome,” Diggory said.

Both candidates were basically in agreement regarding the safety of all city residents, regardless of status, and each praised a recent document documented by former Chief of Police Greg Veitch that essentially said local police would not stop people on the street to ask their immigration status.

“If ICE comes to our town and asks for our cooperation, we are obliged to cooperate with them…but aside from that, immigration (status) will not be the priority of Saratoga Springs Police Department,” said Dalton.

“Being black in America, I can remember when stop-and-search was a rampant thing, and I’ve been stopped many times just because of the color of my skin, so I can relate to what undocumented citizens are going through,” said Hicks, a Democrat who retired from the U.S. military after 30 years of active duty service with the National Guard. “We need to make sure our citizens - whether they’re documented or not – don’t have to live through that. We need to stand up and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

“I have from day one been very pro-immigrant,” Dalton, a Republican, told the crowd of approximately 40 people. “Back in 2017, when we had ICE in our community it was one of the most profoundly disturbing experiences I had as an American…they were stopping people on the street on their way to work, based on the color of their skin, and rounding them up. It really created an atmosphere of fear and terror for people that I know, who I love, who I work with, who I see every day.”

In response to her stated position, one of the attendees of the forum loudly bellowed from the back of the church at Dalton: “You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party,” and promptly exited the room.

“There are some areas where I’m not going to toe a party line, and one of those areas is immigration,” Dalton said.

There was a brief discussion regarding a 2013 Gloversville police department report charging Hicks with assault following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend.

“What you see in the police report is the beginning of an investigation. It doesn’t tell the whole story,” Hicks said. “I was investigated, I was charged, I had a court hearing and the charges were dismissed. Not only that, I was in uniform at the time, so I was investigated by the military authorities as well and there were no charges pressed or filed in that respect as well. So, I finished a full 30-year career decorated career because I carried the bronze star. I don’t know of any soldier who has been under those type of serious charges and can retire with the bronze star.”

 “Those documents raised a lot of questions, and to date those questions have not been answered,” Dalton responded. “I hear him say now that he was cleared of the charges, that he was cleared by the military of these charges, but I have yet to see any documents that supports that narrative.”

Hicks was not endorsed by the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee, and after news of the 2013 report became known, previous endorsements of Hicks by local Democrats Carrie Woerner, Tara Gaston, and Dillon Moran were retracted. 

“I would love to put these questions to bed, but the only way to do that, in my mind, is to see some documentation from the military, and some documentation from the Gloversville Police Department, or the court, that he was indeed cleared,” Dalton said.   

Hicks responded that he is willing to share the documents from Gloversville court dismissing the charges against him. “I have them. I carry them with me in my car at all times and I’d be happy to sit down and show them to you,” Hicks said. “As for the military, They did an investigation and I even had to redo my security clearance. Those documents are not privy to the public – I can’t go get them and show them to everyone – but me having a fully decorated retirement with the bronze star from Afghanistan – I think that should stand for itself.” 

Current Public Safety Commissioner - Democrat Peter Martin, is not seeking re-election. Among the responsibilities of the post is the overall operation of the Police Department, the Fire Department, Code Administration, Animal Control, and Parking Enforcement. The Commissioner of Public Safety is also responsible for emergency planning.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Up for vote are all five City Council positions – mayor, and commissioners of Accounts, Finance, Public Works, and Public Safety – in addition to two city Supervisor seats, whose elected officials will represent the city’s interests at the county level. 

Voter registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 11. Applications must be postmarked no later than October 11, 2019 and received by a board of elections no later than October 16, 2019 to be eligible to vote in the General Election. For information, go to: https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingDeadlines.html.

The League of Women Voters of Saratoga County has announced they are hosting two Saratoga Springs “Meet the Candidates” nights – to be held Oct. 21-22.

Published in News
Thursday, 10 October 2019 13:24

October 11 – October 17, 2019



Lee R. Newhall, 33, of Lynn, Massachusetts, pleaded Oct. 8 to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, felony, in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing Dec. 3. 

Elijah R. Tripp, 27, of Milton. pleaded Oct. 8 to aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate, a felony, in Milton. Sentencing Dec. 3. 

Travis J. Varney, 31, of South Glens Falls was sentenced Oct. 7 to five years of probation, after pleading to aggravated DWI with child, a felony, in Saratoga Springs.


Robert L. Salisbury, 30, of Schenectady, was charged Oct. 7 with felony DWI, felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and operation of a motor vehicle without a required interlock device – a misdemeanor. Salisbury was charged in connection with an alleged hit-and-run crash with a utility pole on West High Street in Ballston Spa, after which he is suspected of fleeing the scene. 

Jamie Waters, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Oct. 4 with endangering the welfare of a child, and violating agriculture and market law – both misdemeanors. 

Angelica Prisco, 23, of Saratoga Springs, was similarly charged Oct. 4 with endangering the welfare of a child, and violating agriculture and market law – both misdemeanors. 

Christopher Rodden, 31, of Schuylerville, was charged Oct. 6 with misdemeanor DWI, and a motor vehicle equipment violation following a traffic stop on Union Avenue. 

Rachel Cristie, 23, of Schuylerville, was charged Oct. 6 with misdemeanor DWI, and a motor vehicle equipment violation, and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate following a traffic stop on Lake Avenue. 

Kenneth Dooley, 57, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Oct. 6 with assault in the third-degree, and aggravated criminal contempt – a felony violating an order of protection. 

Tracy Wilcox, 39, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 30 with criminal contempt, a misdemeanor. 

Bonnie Hammond, 57, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Oct. 1 with criminal trespass misdemeanor. 

Dane Jones, 47, of Troy, was charged in Saratoga Springs Oct. 1 with criminal trespass misdemeanor. 

Erika Stewart, 32, of Wilton, was charged Oct. 2 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle – a misdemeanor, and operating an unregistered vehicle, a violation. 

Jasmine Hill-Davis, 18, of Gansevoort, was charged Oct. 2 in Saratoga Springs with second degree menacing, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon. All three charges are misdemeanors. 

Johntay Jones, 31, of Schenectady, was charged Oct. 4 in Saratoga Springs with resisting arrest, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Published in Police Blotter
Thursday, 03 October 2019 14:23

October 4 – October 10, 2019



Eric D. Weinstein, 25, of Vorheesville, was sentenced Sept. 30 to 1-1/3 to 4 years in state prison, in connection with a felony assault charge that occurred in Saratoga Springs in March 2019. 

Brent L. Pecor, 51, of Galway, was sentenced to 1 year in jail, after pleading to felony DWI, in Milton. 

Nicholas E. Katz, 40, of Malta, pleaded Sept. 30 to aggravated DWI, a felony, in Ballston. Sentencing Nov. 18. 

Mark W. Conley, 68, of Clifton Park, pleaded Sept. 26 to felony DWI in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing Nov. 5. 

Lawrence T. Williams, 33, of Accord, was sentenced Sept. 26 to 2 years in state prison, after pleading to attempted sexual abuse in the first-degree, a felony, in the town of Saratoga.

Keith C. Owen, 42, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded Sept. 25 to criminal contempt in the first-degree, a felony. Sentencing Jan. 8, 2020. 


Liston Delifus, 38, of Schenectady, was charged Sept. 28 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, speeding, and operating an unregistered vehicle. 

Francisco Caamano, 24, of Mechanicville, was charged Sept. 28 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, refusing to take a breath test, and speeding. 

Harry Pozefsky, 32, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 28 with felony burglary, and the misdemeanors: assault, and criminal mischief. 

Travis Smith, 19, of Milton, was charged Sept. 28 following an investigation into a traffic accident in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and multiple license, registration, and driving violations. 

Christopher Barry, 37, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 28 with assault, and criminal mischief. 

Tinashe Gwakuka, 22, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 29 with disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. 

Mona Nordstrom, 50, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 24 with third-degree assault. 

Fatimah Mason, 30, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 25 with petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property. 

Matthew Campbell, 34, of Schuylerville, was charged Sept. 26 in Saratoga Springs with criminal mischief/ intent to damage property.

Published in Police Blotter
Thursday, 26 September 2019 13:55

September 27 – October 3, 2019



John C. Rakstis, 43, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced Sept. 23 to 1 year jail, after pleading to felony DWI in the town of Ballston. 

Albert B. Mercer, 64, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Sept. 24 to 1 to 3 years state priosn, after pleading to criminal contempt in the first-degree, a felony. 

Richard F. Kelleher, 29, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced to 1.5 years state prison, after pleading to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. 


Carmen Young, 45, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 17 with third degree assault – two counts; obstruct governmental administration, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

Shawn Whitman, 18, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 17 in Saratoga Springs with criminal mischief in the fourth-degree. 

Christopher Martindale, 40, of Glens Falls, was charged Sept. 19 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated harassment, stalking, and coercion. The latter charge is a felony. 

Bridget Stockwell, 36, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 20 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and following too closely, after being involved in a property damage accident on Washington Street. 

Merritt Westfall, 33, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 20 with criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

Brendly Gallardo-Gonzalez, 23, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 20 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. 

Daniel Catone, 19, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 20 in Saratoga Springs with third degree assault, criminal mischief, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Aaron Malmgren, 25, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 21 with two counts of criminal mischief – one misdemeanor and one felony; unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, 

Fausto Hernandez, 34, of Schenectady, was charged Sept. 22 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI and several driving related violations. 

Meghan Deguire, 24, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 22 with misdemeanor DWI, aggravated DWI, operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone, and unsafe moving from lane, after being involved in a property damage accident on Lincoln Avenue. 

Adara P. Martinez, 22, of Malta, was charged Sept. 24 with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first-degree – a felony; misdemeanor DWI, and two driving related infractions, following an alleged incident that occurred in Round Lake. 

Published in Police Blotter

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Congress Park will serve as the staging grounds for this weekend’s Native American Festival. The significance of the location is not lost on Joseph Bruchac, whose family was involved in the founding of the festival at the Spa State Park a decade or so ago.

“Congress Park is where the original Indian encampment took place a century ago. And that was the original idea years ago, before the state park approached us,” said Bruchac, whose Native American heritage comes from his mother’s side of the family, the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki Nation. “And the thing about Congress Park is it’s an incredible venue. I think it’s one of the most beautiful parks in the country and designed by (Frederick Law) Olmsted – who designed Central Park. “

Historic maps presented in the 1970s to the city’s Community Development offices place the “Indian Encampment,” in an area adjacent to the so-called “Devil’s Chair” in the northeast section of the park close to Circular Street and Spring streets. The encampments were sited in Congress Park up until just before the start of the 20th century, when they were relocated to an area close to Ballston Avenue. In July 1883, the Saratoga Journal reported on a festival in the “picturesque Indian village,” which “delighted children” and “many well-known citizens and guests” alike, and was highlighted by an Indian medicine ceremony and “fancy rifle shooting by Texas Charley.”

Richard Canfield purchased the encampment grounds in May 1902, according to newspaper accounts of the time. Two decades earlier, Canfield purchased the Saratoga Clubhouse and spent a considerable amount of money during the late 1800s enhancing the building and the surrounding Congress Park grounds. That building – today known as The Canfield Casino houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum and will be used as a staging area for some of Sunday’s events during the Native American Festival.

Sunday’s festival is an important one, Bruchac says. “One of the traditions in our native culture is that we tell stories, and we do this for two reasons: one is to entertain; the other to educate. Sharing culture is one of the best ways to teach people things that they may not have ever thought of before,” he says. “So, our festival will, first of all, let people see contemporary Native Americans. We’re not all existing in the teepees on the Great Plains of a hundred years ago but are part of the continuing community of peoples here in the northeast. And secondly, what they’ll get to see is more than 34 different artists offering their works – from baskets and jewelry, to woodcarvings and stone carvings. Pretty amazing stuff. They’ll get to see the continuing strength of our artistry that is so much a part of Native American culture.”

Three years ago, the festival relocated to the National Museum of Dance. In search of an appropriate venue this year, a conversation with Saratoga Arts Executive Director Joel Reed led to Sunday’s festival staging at Congress Park and at the Canfield Casino. The first Saratoga Native American Festival was a two-day event.

“That first day we had 5,000 people, but the second day we got totally rained out. That happened to us the second year as well, where we had one good day and one really bad rain day,” Bruchac says. “So now, we thought we’d pick the one good weather day, rather than going with one day that’s good and one day that’s bad,” he joked, looking over the predicted sun-filled forecast for the Sunday.

The Saratoga Native American Festival takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22 in Congress Park. The event is free and open to the public. 10 a.m.: Vendors Open. Flute and Drum Music by James, Jesse and Joseph Bruchac. 11 a.m.: Tom Porter‘s Opening Address. The festival will begin with a traditional opening address, delivered in Mohawk and English by Tom Sakokwenionkwas Porter, who positions with the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs and is the spokesman and spiritual leader of the Mohawk community of Kanatsiohareke. Noon: Grand Entry. Black River Drum, Old Soul Drum, Nulhegan Drum. 12:45 p.m.: Honoring of Chief Don Stevens. 1 p.m.: Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers. 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Smoke Dance Competition. 2 p.m.: Brian Blanchett on Canfield Stage. 2:10 p.m.: Joanne Shenandoah on Canfield Stage. Shenandoah, a Grammy Award winner, is one of Native America’s most celebrated musicians. 3 p.m.: Perry Ground storytelling on Canfield Stage. Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. He has been telling stories for over 20 years as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs and history of the Haudenosaunee. Perry learned most of the stories he shares from the elders of various Native American communities and feels practicing and perpetuating the oral traditions of Native people is an important responsibility. 4:15 p.m.: Kay Olan Storytelling on Canfield Stage. Kay Clan is a Wolf Clan Mohawk storyteller and educator. After teaching for 33 years, she relocated to the Traditional Mohawk Community at Kanatsiohareke where she worked as director. 5 p.m.: Vendors close. Closing Address by Tom Porter

Published in News
Thursday, 12 September 2019 15:00

A Day That Changed The World

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Patrick Kauth stood atop the lawn at High Rock Park Wednesday morning, trying to encapsulate the thoughts and emotions of the past 18 years into a few poignant words. 

“It’s a changed world,” said Kauth, whose childhood years were spent in the classrooms of St. Clement’s and Saratoga Springs High. He grew up in a hockey family, one of four siblings. His dad, Don Kauth, was killed in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.      

“A loss is a loss and you can’t change time,” said Kauth, who teaches history at the Albany Academy.

It was early in September 2001, when Don Kauth drove his son to Merrimack College in Massachusetts, where Patrick was entering his freshman year.

“He bought me own of those huge Dell desktop computers,” he remembered. “Afterwards we ate dinner and exchanged pleasantries and insults, the way that best friends do, because he was my best friend,” he said. “Then he was off to New York the next morning.” Don Kauth worked as a bank analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Wood at the World Trade Center.

It was a week or so later when Patrick Kauth joined his new college roommates watching the events of 9/11 take form on the TV.

“I remember thinking that this couldn’t be real. At first, I joined along with them, just sat there, and then after about sixty seconds it clicked: wait a minute. He works there. So, I phoned home. And I heard it in my mom’s voice. She hadn’t heard from him. The communication was very difficult that day, but still, he would have found a way. So, I knew pretty immediately that he was gone. “

Kauth was the keynote speaker at the city’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony Wednesday morning at High Rock Park. It is a historic park that has been known to Native Americans for over 5,000 years. In the summer of 2012, it became home to the 25-foot-tall sculpture, titled "Tempered by Memory," which was created out of five twisted pieces of World Trade Center steel. Four of the pieces came from the North Tower - distinguished by the antenna on its roof - and one steel beam came from the South Tower.

The ceremony, held on the 18th anniversary of the attacks, began with a welcome from Raymond F. O’Conor, author and CEO of Saratoga National Bank, and the observance included members of the city police and fire departments and the U.S. Navy. Keri Alonzo sang The National Anthem, Rick and Sharon Bolton provided additional music. Chaplain Sid Gordon, Disabled American Veterans, delivered the Invocation and Benediction.

“The attacks caused the deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others,” said city Mayor Meg Kelly, who recited a series of the numbers that reflected the tragic losses of that day at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, on each of the four planes, and the firefighters, paramedics, police officers and others who were killed responding to the attacks and trying to help others.    

“Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609; Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051; Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result of 9/11: immeasurable,” Mayor Kelly said. “It is with these numbers that we will always mark this horrific day.”   

Kauth says the collective stories of the tragic day’s events, as well as visits to The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York have become as fundamental to him as the battlefields of Saratoga, and Gettysburg, and the museums and the monuments in Washington.

“In particular, it is overwhelmingly emotional listening to our first responders The Day Of - from their own radio correspondence, describing in detail their quickly deteriorating situation and the victims who could not make it out of the stairwell,” Kauth said. “It becomes apparent, pretty quickly, that these heroes knew that they were not making out. That they were going to save as many people before the inevitable collapse.

“I cannot help but think, in awe and with tears streaming down my face, about the bravery and resolve displayed by these firefighters and policemen who wanted nothing else but to just have a chance at saving people like my father,” Kauth said.

“Time does help. I have a family of my own that we’re growing now, and that helps immensely. I love my son more and more each day,” he said, gesturing a few yards away across the park to his wife Shauna, and their 22-month-old son, Oliver.

Asked what he will teach his own son about his father, Kauth said it will be about his dad’s caring for others.  “He was a unique guy. A really thoughtful guy who did a lot for the community and for anybody that needed something. So, what I’ll tell my son is that we have to continue to try and live his legacy,” Kauth said.  “But you’re never going to have that hole filled up completely.”

Published in News
Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:11

September 20 – September 26, 2019



Paul C. Zaroba, 45, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Sept. 12 to 1 to 3 years state prison, after pleading to felony DWI, in Saratoga Springs. 

Justin N. Thurber, 33, of Stillwater, pleaded Sept. 12 to felony DWI in Malta. Sentencing Nov. 14. 

Philip E. Griffith, Jr., 54, of Gansevoort, was sentenced Sept. 10 to five years probation, after pleading to felony DWI in Wilton. 

Richard E. Hileman, 36, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Sept. 13 to attempted making a terroristic threat, a felony initially charged July 21, 2019. Sentencing scheduled Nov. 15. 


Amahad Danzy, 31, of Albany, was charged Sept. 14 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and a speeding violation. 

Michael Lashomb, 33, of Watertown, was charged Sept. 15 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI, refusing to take a breath test, and speeding. 

Nicholas Hanley, 26, of Clifton Park, was charged Sept. 15 in Saratoga Springs with misdemeanor DWI and aggravated DWI, in addition to several driving related violations. 

Edward Iannone, 37, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 15 with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and making an improper turn, after being involved in a one-car personal injury accident on Lincoln Avenue. 

Michael Martino, 54, of Oxford, Connecticut, was charged Sept. 14 in Saratoga Springs with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and a driving related violation. 

Harry Pozefsky, 32, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 11 with criminal trespass, both misdemeanors. 

Brianne Cogan, 34, of Saratoga Springs, was charged Sept. 10 with the misdemeanors: petit larceny, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, and felony grand larceny. 

Gordon Finn, 36, of Albany, was charged Sept. 13 with second degree harassment. 

Bryanna E. Furman, 27, of Ballston Spa, was charged Sept. 5 with grand larceny in the third-degree. 


County Sheriff Issues Public Warning
About The “Felony Lane Gang”

BALLSTON SPA — Sheriff Michael Zurlo would like to make the public aware of a string a thefts from vehicles that have been taking place in Saratoga County and surrounding communities. 

A group of individuals often referred to as the Felony Lane Gang (FLG), have been targeting unoccupied vehicles and stealing wallets and purses from these vehicles. The FBI describes them as “a group of organized burglary and identity theft rings operating in multiple jurisdictions throughout the U.S.” 

The group sometimes takes the items from unlocked vehicles but will also break car windows to gain entry. The areas where this group frequents are typically daycare centers, gyms and parks (including ball fields), locations where women often leave their purses or wallets in their vehicle. 

Residents are asked to not leave purses, wallets or other valuables in their vehicles even if they are only leaving their vehicle for a few minutes. These criminals can commit their crimes in a matter of seconds. 

The MO of the group is to travel to an area in rental vehicles, steal license plates from local residents’ vehicles to place on their rental vehicle, and then steal from vehicles in the above named parking lots during the daylight hours. The group will then use disguises to look like the VI and use the VI’s driver’s license to cash checks at area banks.   

Area law enforcement agencies are actively working together to apprehend these perpetrators. 

Published in Police Blotter
Friday, 06 September 2019 12:53

City Council Tackles Big Issues

City Council will address a series of issues this month that could change the visual landscape of Broadway, enhance the diversity of future political candidates, and alter the directional flow of traffic near the downtown core.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Council will address a series of issues this month that could change the visual landscape of Broadway, enhance the diversity of future political candidates, and alter the directional flow of traffic near the downtown core.

On Sept. 2, the council introduced a 44-page lease proposal between the city of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority. If approved – which could happen by mid-month - the agreement would set into motion the development of a 600-space parking garage project near High Rock Park.

The terms of the lease runs to Dec. 31, 2032 – aligning with the length of the existing lease with the City Center itself, explained City Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis.

Plans call for the City Center Authority to build and subsequently maintain a multi-level, 600-space parking garage atop city owned land, just east of the existing City Center building. “Air rights” for the construction of a so-called pedestrian connector would be included, and bridge the city center with the parking structure, atop Maple Avenue.

The city would receive in return 60 designated parking spaces in the new structure to be used during daytime working hours, as well as 50% of the structure’s excess cash flow. What approximate dollar figure that would equal is “not known at this time,” said DeLeonardis, but is “to be determined by a calculation of the revenues generated minus the debt service and maintenance and operation costs associated with the facility.”

The City Center Authority would also develop an extension of the Green Belt Trail along High Rock Avenue. The city owns approximately 2-1/2-acres of land, currently used for surface parking, that runs from High Rock Park to Lake Avenue, and Maple Avenue to High Rock Avenue, one block east of Broadway. The lease is specific to one portion of that segment – the area of land to the east of the City Center - and only to the development of the parking structure and pedestrian bridge.

A Public Hearing is expected to take place prior to the next City Council meeting, on Tuesday night, Sept. 17. The Council will likely vote on the lease agreement later the same evening. If approved, the development of the parking garage may begin as soon as this fall.  

Parking Congestion at Lake Ave School

The council hosted a 45-minute public discussion Sept. 3 to address student safety and residential concerns as it relates to public parking, student parking and school bus transport in the immediate area of the Lake Avenue Elementary School.  The school faces Lake Avenue and is bordered by Regent Street and Marion Place.  Proposed changes may include altering traffic patterns on some of the neighboring streets. Traffic congestion and the safety of students being dropped off and picked up at the school remains the primary concern. Two public hearings have been held on the matter, and a third is slated to take place Tuesday night, Sept. 17.

Increasing City Council Salaries, Expanding Deputy Residency Requirements to attract Qualified and Diverse Candidates and Appointees

The council staged a Public Hearing regarding a Local Law to amend the City Charter as it relates to terms of office, eligibility and salaries of officers. The law seeks to increase the compensation of the elected City Council members from $14,500 per year to $30,000 annually, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.

Member salaries have not increased since at least 2001, city Mayor Meg Kelly said. “Consider what $14,500 means per year.  My average work week is about 50 hours. That’s $5.58 an hour. Consider that some of us (on the council) work 30 hours – that’s $9.28 an hour.”

Mayor Kelly advised that the Saratoga Springs salary is comparable with that of Mechanicville, which pays its mayor $12,000. “While Mechanicville shares our Commission Form of Government, it only has a population of 5,200 people with limited tax base, tourism, economy, or destination power,” she said, adding that among 14 comparably sized cities, the average salary paid to the mayor is about $44,500.

“We are entering into a new budget season and the time is right for fair and reasonable discussions about these salaries,” Kelly said. “It is more important than ever to attract talented and diverse candidates. To date, our candidate pool has been largely retirees, the affluent, or people who have the luxury of being supported by a partner’s income…this is a nominal increase aimed at a considerable impact on the quality of our governance.”  

The council did not vote on the matter related to their own potential salary increases, but did unanimously approve a resolution that proposes an amendment to state law to expand geographical residency requirements for deputies.

Each of the five council members appoints a deputy. According to Public Officers Law, all deputies must reside in the city of Saratoga Springs. The council resolution seeks to expand those geographical boundaries to become county-wide. 

The current requirement significantly restricts the number of qualified persons available for the administrative positions, the council says. The expanded boundaries would create an opportunity for council members to seek qualified individuals for positions from anywhere in Saratoga County, and would result in a significant benefit to the public. The proposal seeking an amendment to the existing law will be presented the offices of Sen. Daphne Jordan and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner for submittal to the State Legislature. 

City Approves Six-Year Plan Proposal - Eastside Fire/EMS Facility Tagged a Priority

The city’s six-year proposed capital plan, totaling just under $17 million, was unanimously approved Sept. 3 by the council in a 4-0 vote. Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin was not present at the meeting.

The plan ranks 36 city projects according to importance with the highest proposed ticketed item being an Eastside Fire/EMS Facility. The city currently has two stations – one just off Broadway and one on the west side. The potential of an east side facility has been discussed for several years. At present, no land where the station would specifically be sited has been determined. The fire/ems station ranks third highest in order of importance.

The six-year Capital plan is updated annually and varies in accordance with changing priorities and budgetary fluctuations. The city’s Comprehensive Budget is presented annually in late fall.   




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SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee last week announced its endorsements for the 2019 general election.

The committee endorsed incumbent John Franck for Commissioner of Accounts, Patty Morrison for Commissioner of Finance, incumbent Meg Kelly for Mayor, Dillon Moran for Commissioner of Public Works and incumbent Tara Gaston for County Supervisor. The announcement was made by newly named Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee chairwoman Sarah J. Burger.

Earlier this summer, several members of the committee staged a walk-out after incumbent Michele Madigan - the committee’s previously endorsed candidate for Commissioner of Finance - lost the June Democratic Primary to Morrison.

Morrison - on the Democratic line, and Madigan – who will appear on the Independence Party and Working Families Party lines, will face one another in the citywide general election on Nov. 5 when all five City Council positions – including mayor - as well as two Saratoga Springs Supervisor seats, will be up for vote.

The city Democratic Committee also approved a resolution, supported by all endorsed candidates, declaring that survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence be heard and respected, condemning sexual harassment, sexual abuse and domestic violence and demanding that perpetrators be held accountable.

Kendall Hicks, who is running for Commissioner of Public Safety as a Democrat, has not receive city Democratic Committee endorsement.

On the Republican side, Commissioner of Public Works Anthony "Skip" Scirocco and Supervisor Matthew Veitch - both incumbents, and candidates Robin Dalton – for the position of Commissioner of Public Safety, and Stephen Mittler - for Saratoga County Supervisor, have been endorsed by the Saratoga Springs Republican Committee.

Tim Holmes, who is running for mayor on the Republican line, has not receive city Republican Committee endorsement.

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