Police: Colonie man arrested with gun, threatened to shoot people

COLONIE – A Colonie man has been arrested on weapons possession counts after reports he threatened to shoot people, Colonie police said.

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Seth I. Buess, 32, of Colonie, was arrested late Sunday morning and charged with second-degree and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, felonies. He also faces one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.

The incident began at about 11 a.m. when police responded to a report in the area of Maria Drive of someone armed with a handgun threatening to shoot people, police said.

Officers soon found Buess near the Christ Our Light Catholic Church on Maria Drive. Upon seeing officers, Buess fled on foot. Officers gave chase and soon found him in a nearby residential back yard and took him into custody. Officers also soon located a loaded handgun they believe he discarded in the same back yard, police said.

Just prior to officers arriving, Buess had been involved in an argument at a nearby residence and left on foot, police said.

Buess was arraigned and ordered held pending bail. 

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Colonie Police investigators at 518-783-2754.

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Siena men’s basketball starts 1-0 in MAAC play

ALBANY — The Saints knew what to expect.

“MAAC games are always battles,” said graduate student Jackson Stormo, Siena’s starting center.

“No possessions off,” added sophomore wing player Jared Billups. “Everyone’s trying to win, so you can’t really relax at all.”

Siena’s conference opener Friday at MVP Arena against Canisius lived up to the typical MAAC men’s basketball talking points, as the teams battled through a tightly contested, and occasionally tense, matchup that saw the Saints prevail 74-70 after Stormo secured the game’s final meaningful possession with a dive to the floor following a missed Canisius free throw with seconds to play.

“It’s always a dogfight. It’s always a battle,” said Stormo, who made two free throws after that final rebound to net a double-double performance with 11 points and 10 rebounds. “And we just don’t give up. We keep playing all 40.”

Fresh off scoring two high-major wins in the ESPN Events Invitational, Siena brought plenty of momentum into its MAAC opener. More importantly Friday, the Saints were the more composed team, as visiting Canisius was called for four technical fouls — including three in a span of 19 seconds — to Siena’s one. The free throws Siena received from Canisius’ technicals loomed large, as they helped fuel a 12-0 run that put the Saints ahead 68-61 with 3:39 to go. Canisius answered those dozen Saints points with six of their own and the teams played within a single possession of each other for most of the last three minutes, but Siena never trailed after it moved ahead with its longest run of the night.

Sophomore guard Javian McCollum starred for the Saints, despite playing with an illness that left him vomiting at halftime. The reigning MAAC Player of the Week, McCollum scored a career-high 27 points, including 21 after halftime.

Graduate student Michael Baer added 10 points off the Siena bench, which outscored Canisius’ 25-17. Billups and freshman Michael Eley each scored six points for Siena, while Billups added 10 rebounds to match Stormo for the game-high total. Stormo also blocked five shots.

For Canisius, graduate students Jordan Henderson scored 18 points and Jamir Moultrie had 17. Redshirt freshman Tahj Staveskie, Canisius’ leading scorer on the season, had eight points on 3 of 12 shooting.

Henderson and Staveskie each received technical fouls during the quick stretch that saw Canisius net three. Henderson and Siena’s McCollum were called simultaneously for technical fouls after battling to a jump ball, while Staveskie’s technical came after the redshirt freshman tossed the basketball into McCollum’s face after a made basket.

Canisius’ Xzavier Long earned the game’s first technical foul and its last, as the sophomore was ejected from the game with 5:27 to go. 

Siena (1-0 MAAC, 5-3 overall) led 31-27 at halftime after a rough start. Canisius (0-1, 2-5) scored a dozen of the game’s first 15 points, but the Saints answered with a 9-0 run and led by as many as seven in the first half. While Moultrie scored 10 points and Henderson had nine for Canisius, eight Saints scored in a half that saw no Siena player score more than McCollum’s six.

Siena entered MAAC play after winning two of three games in Florida against high-major foes. The Saints defeated Florida State of the ACC and Seton Hall of the Big East, but fell to Mississippi of the SEC. Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello said he was pleased to see the Saints not relax after those wins.

“It’s a credit to all of them because they know what’s at stake,” Maciariello said.

KEY MOMENT

With the Saints clinging to a 68-67 lead and a half-minute to go, McCollum missed a 3-pointer, but Stormo was able to tip the offensive rebound into the basket for a needed two points.

While the game ended with a double-double for Stormo, it wasn’t an easy night for the center who came into the game making 56.3% of his field-goal attempts. He made 3 of 10 shots against Canisius, and had several inside chances end with frustrating misses.

“I mean, I just went for the ball. It’s pretty much as simple as that,” Stormo said of the tip-in basket that grew Siena’s late lead from a point to three. “That’s just basketball, you know? Having one of the worst offensive games in my career, but just keep fighting, and keep playing and keep trying to do anything you can to win — and, you know, it ended up going in. Big play for us down the stretch. Just trying to do anything I can do to help our team.”

GOOD START

The last time Siena was better than .500 through the first eight games of a season that included non-conference games was the 2015-16 season.

Coached by Jimmy Patsos, that club started 5-3 on its way to a 21-13 campaign that concluded with a loss in the College Basketball Invitational to Morehead State.

Siena had seven wins through eight games in the 2020-21 season, but all of those games were MAAC contests during a season played amid numerous pandemic-related restrictions.

WHAT’S NEXT

Siena doesn’t play again until Wednesday when it visits Georgetown in Washington, D.C., for the second year in a row.

Georgetown is off to a 4-4 start this season, and plays South Carolina this weekend before preparing for the Saints.

A season ago, Georgetown defeated Siena 83-65 to improve to 2-1. Head coach Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas finished the 2021-22 non-conference season at 6-5, then lost all of its Big East games on the way to finishing 6-25.

Contact Michael Kelly at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMichaelKelly.

Schools: Paolino leads Mohonasen to win over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk

Jacob Paolino scored 16 points to lead Mohonasen to a 43-40 victory over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in a Colonial Council boys’ basketball game Friday. Mohonasen outscored Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 14-9 in the fourth quarter to rally for the win. Andrew Batcher finished with 14 points for Mohonasen. Jack Reif had a game-high 22 points for Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.

Wesley McIntyre scored 16 points to lift Lansingburgh to a 67-51 Colonial Council victory over Schalmont. Aayden Green finished with 14 points for the Knights. Isaiah Smith and Elijah Smith each had 14 points for Schalmont.

Darien Moore and Nick Riley each finished with 17 points to propel Catholic Central to a Colonial Council victory over Cobleskill-Richmondville. Sei’Mir Roberson had 15 points for the Crusaders and Conor Gemmill added 12 points. Ty LaBarge scored 10 points to lead Cobleskill-Richmondville.

Adam Myers scored 29 points for La Salle in a 55-53 Colonial Council win over Voorheesville. Carson Carrow had 21 points for Voorheesville, while Seth Wilson added 14 points.

Alex Schmidt scored 22 points for Ichabod Crane in a 73-44 Colonial Council victory over Cohoes. Daniel Warner finished with 19 points for the Riders. Skye Keparitus finished with 14 points to pace Cohoes, while Bryce Hancock had 12 points.

In a non-league contest, Hoosick Falls posted a 61-36 victory over St. Lawrence. Jake Sparks scored 25 points to pace the Panthers, while Brady Mann and Jack Kavanaugh each scored nine points. Ayden Beach scored 22 points to lead St. Lawrence.

Logan Yohe had 22 points for Bethlehem in a 64-43 non-league win over Mechanicville. Kieran Barnes added 12 points for the Eagles. Colin Richardson scored 29 points for Mechanicville.
Antone Robbens scored 18 points for Saratoga Springs in a 67-27 non-league win over Scotia-Glenville. Drew Stallmer and Ryan Farr each had 12 points for the Blue Streaks, while Bryant Savage added 10. Fermin Fabian and Sean McLaughlin each had seven points for Scotia-Glenville.

Nate Mycek scored 16 points to lead Fonda-Fultonville to a 45-42 overtime win at South Glens Falls in a non-league contest. Riley Wilson had 11 points and seven points for the Braves, while Brady Whipple added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Joe Skiff hit five 3-pointers on his way to 30 points to lift Greenwich to an 81-46 non-league victory over Hartford. Jacob Ziehm added 14 points for the Witches. Ray Harrington finished with 14 points for Hartford.

Peyton Smith scored 24 points to lead Hudson Falls to a 52-47 non-league win over Albany. Brady Smith added 10 points for the Tigers. Deavion Springsteen scored 19 points to pace the Falcons.

On Thursday, Tamarac posted an 86-38 victory over Waterford-Halfmoon. Mike D’Agostino finished with 31 points to lead Tamarac, while Joey Poulin (19 points) and Frankie DePalma III (11) also hit double digits. Connor Kennedy scored 13 points to lead Waterford-Halfmoon.

BOLOGNA LEADS HOLY NAMES PAST VOORHEESVILLE

Sophia Bologna scored 36 points to lead Holy Names to a 62-49 victory over Voorheesville in a Colonial Council girls’ basketball contest. Ryan Carroll added 10 points for Holy Names. Reese Hoenig finished with 15 points to lead Voorheesville, while Mia Carmody added 14 points.

Saige Randolph finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds to power Albany Academy for Girls to a 92-20 victory over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in a Colonial Council game. Bella Vincent had 14 points for Albany Academy for Girls and Morgan Vien added 13 points. Patricia Dorrance led Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk with eight points.

Hailey Monroe finished with 27 points for Northville in a 61-33 victory over Canajohaerie in a Western Athletic Conference on Friday. The Falcons led 18-13 at the half before outscoring the Cougars 43-20 in the second half. Hannah Hoffman added 19 points for Northville. Charlotte Nare scored 12 points to lead Canajoharie.

Cloey Dopp finished with 24 points for Mayfield in a 60-21 Western Athletic Conference victory over Galway. Jaidyn Chest had 19 points for the Panthers, who improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in WAC play. Grace O’Brien and Abigail Gullett each had nine points for Galway.

Marissa Wilder scored 10 points to lead Fort Plain to 26-23 victory over Middleburgh in a Western Athletic Conference contest Friday. Zionna Robarge added nine points for the Hilltoppers. Payton King scored nine points to lead Middleburgh.

Kris Foglia finished with 12 points to lift Shaker to a 49-27 win over Broadalbin-Perth in the opening round of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Tip-Off Classic. Jillian Sassanella scored 15 points to lead Broadalbin-Perth.

Allison O’Hanlon scored 20 points for Duanesburg in a season-opening 56-40 non-league win over Mechanicville. Hannah Mulhern had 15 points for the Eagles, Alex Moses had 11 and Lauren Capron added 10. Lila Christensen had 16 points for Mechanicville and Allison Kenyon added 11.

Kaitlyn Robbins had 20 points for Bethlehem in a 70-39 non-league win over Kingston. Ellie Cerf had 14 points for the Eagles and Caroline Davis added 13 points. Ava Scaturo led Kingston with 15 points and Asia Lebon added 10.

Kathleen Birmingham had 16 points to lead Niskayuna to a 46-28 win over host Queensbury in the opening round of the Queensbury Tournament. Olivia O’Meally added 15 points for the Silver Warriors. Kendra Ballard paced Queensbury with 10 points.

CD JETS EDGE QUEENSBURY, 5-4

Tanner Fearman had two goals and an assist for Queensbury in a 5-4 loss to the Capital District Jets in a Capital District High School Hockey League game Friday. Tyler Dufour and Mack Ryan also scored for the Spartans, while Keegan Lozier added two assists. Jacob Danciullo had 16 saves for Queensbury.

Frank Ramos and Chase Rose scored for La Salle in a 2-2 tie with Plattsburgh in a non-league game. Carter Irving made 18 saves for the Cadets.

Charlie Oke scored twice for Saratoga Springs in a 5-2 non-league victory over Ithaca. Luke Henderson, Patrick Temple and Maddox Pemrick also scored for the Blue Streaks.

No. 4 Quinnipiac coasts to 5-0 win over Union women’s hockey

SCHENECTADY — The No. 4-ranked Quinnipiac women’s hockey team got the jump on Union early and coasted to a 5-0 ECAC Hockey victory at Messa Rink on Friday night.

Maya Labad scored two goals in the first period as the Bobcats took a 3-0 lead, outshooting the Dutchwomen 19-8.

Union managed just a total of seven shots on goal over the second and third periods.

Kendall Cooper had a goal and an assist in the first period, and Olivia Mobley had two assists for the game for the Bobcats (7-1-0 ECACH, 15-1-0 overall).

Goalie Sophie Matsoukas made 42 saves for the Dutchwomen (2-3-1, 7-6-1).

Quinnipiac 3 2 0 — 5

Union 0 0 0 — 0

First period — 1, Quinnipiac, Labad (Cooper, Urban), 4:08. 2, Quinnipiac, Cooper (Samoskevich, Mobley), 13:05. 3, Quinnipiac, Labad (Peart, Reilly), 16:12. Penalties — Uens, Q (hooking), 1:22.

Second period — 4, Quinnipiac, Urban (ua), 1:54. 2, Quinnipiac, Maloney (Mobley, Chantler), 18:11. Penalties — Reilly, Q (tripping), 4:04; King, U (cross checking), 11:23; Walsh, U (roughing), 12:35; Mobley, Q (roughing), 12:35; Greco, U (tripping), 15:30.

Third period — None. Penalties — Greco, U (hooking), 12:50; Reilly, Q (tripping), 16:52.

Shots on goal – Quinnipiac, 19-15-13 — 47. Union, 8-5-2 — 15.

Power play opportunities — Quinnipiac, 0 of 3. Union, 0 of 3.

Goalies — Quinnipiac, Angers (15 shots-15 saves). Union, Matsoukas (47-42).

A — 215.

Referees — Paul Maciejewski, Rich Jebo. Linesman — Kevin Spraker, Tim Waters.

PRINCETON 5, RPI 1

TROY — Princeton broke open a close game with two goals in the second period and two more in the third to beat RBI at Houston Field House.

Hannah Price scored with 3.1 seconds left on the clock in the first period to give the Engineers (0-5-1 ECACH, 4-12-1 overall) a 1-1 tie heading into the locker room.

Sarah Fillier, who assisted on three of the Tigers’ goals, scored two of her own in the second to give No. 15-ranked Princeton (3-4-0, 5-5-1) a 3-1 lead.

Princeton 1 2 2 — 5

RPI 1 0 0 — 1

First period — 1, Princeton, Connors (Fillier, Monihan), 6:23. 2, RPI, Price (Beaudoin), 19:56.9. Penalties — Hildner, RPI (interference), 7:08; Cormier, P (tripping), 10:06.

Second period — 3, Princeton, Fillier (Kuehl, Cormier), 9:16. 4, Princeton, Fillier (Wunder, Connors), 16:23. Penalties — RPI bench (too many players on ice), 1:09; Monihan, P (tripping), 14:06; Wallace (slashing), 18:15.

Third period — 5, Princeton, Keopple (Connors, Fillier), 4:42. 6, Princeton, Connors (Wunder, Fillier), 15:43 (pp). Penalties — ; Larsen, RPI (tripping), 2:13; Monihan, P (tripping), 8:18; Philip, RPI (holding), 14:07; Monihan, P (body checking), 16:04; Bukic, RPI (body checking), 18:57.

Shots on goal – Princeton, 11-13-12 — 36. RPI, 5-6-7 — 18.

Power play opportunities — Princeton, 1 of 5. RPI, 0 of 5.

Goalies — Princeton, Olnowich (18 shots-17 saves). RPI, Rampado (36-31).

A — 250.

Referees — Zachary Dupree, Daniel Gosselin. Linesman — Hayley Mello, Matthew Potrzeba.

Grandmother desperate for return of missing Schenectady girl

SCHENECTADY — The grandmother of missing 14-year-old Samantha Humphrey says her family is desperate for the girl’s return as the search reaches its second week.

Dianne Matarazzo, Humphrey’s paternal grandmother, said she has confidence in the Schenectady Police Department and New York State Police as they search for Humphrey, who went missing the night of Nov. 25.

“We want her back so much,” Matarazzo said with her voice cracking with emotion. “You see people go through this and you feel bad for them, but you don’t think that someday it will be you.”

Sgt. Patrick Irwin, spokesperson for the Schenectady Police Department, said the police continued to search the Mohawk River on Friday.

“We’re in that area because that’s her last known location,” Irwin said.

Irwin also reported that the department has been in contact with Hajile Howard, a second Schenectady nine-grader who was reported missing on Nov. 9.

The police have contacted Howard through a third party but have not located her as of Friday afternoon. The department does not believe Howard is in danger and the agency has found no link to the two girls’ disappearances.

“There is no connection between Samantha’s disappearance and Hajile, however, they are friends,” Irwin said.

Matarazzo on Thursday said she does not believe that Humphrey and Howard are together.

“I know they were close friends,” she said. “I met Hajile. But I don’t think that they’re together. Only because I don’t believe that Samantha would not get in touch with me or her grandfather or father [Jeff] or her brother Mattox. She’s close to all of us. There’s no reason she wouldn’t call her brother if she was in trouble and let him know that she’s in trouble. Whatever happened, we would be here for her and deal with whatever it was.”

Matarazzo said the family is sticking together during a traumatic period.

“As much as possible,” she said. “Her father is devastated as of course we are. Sam and her brother lived with us for a few years while her father was getting his nursing degree. So we’re very close. We’re just as much parents to them. We do everything for them. If they call us, we come running. So she would just not do this to us.”

Matarazzo said Samantha lived with her and her husband, John, from the ages of 7 to 13.

The grandmother said the Schenectady police have been in daily contact with the family.

She last saw her granddaughter Nov. 22 when she took Humphrey to a dentist appointment, she said.

Matarazzo said she talked to Humphrey via phone at approximately 6:45 p.m. on the night of her disappearance on Nov. 25.

Humphrey was last seen at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the area of Riverside Park in the Stockade neighborhood that evening.

“She said she wanted to come here on Saturday [Nov. 26] and have some leftovers from Thanksgiving, but then I could never reach her again on my phone,” she said.

In a letter to district parents on Thursday, Schenectady City School District Superintendent Aníbal Soler Jr. noted that the district is working closely with the Police Department’s Youth Aid Bureau and is asking the school community to report any information about the girls to police.

“We understand that this situation may be difficult for our students due to what they may be hearing on TV or reading on social media, and they could be experiencing a range of emotions,” Soler wrote. “Our team of school counselors, social workers and psychologists are always available to help students.”

Soler on Friday said that the school district community is still reeling from the news of the two missing ninth-grade pupils, who both attend Schenectady High School.

“I think anytime we hear anything like this about any of our students, it’s a punch in the gut,” he said. “We want nothing negative to happen to any of our kids. So to come out of a holiday break for Thanksgiving and the news you get on a Friday night is that one of your students is missing, it definitely impacts our kids and our various communities. This is still fresh for our staff and students that know her. We’re just all hoping for a positive outcome.”

Soler said he was heartened to hear that the police had been able to connect with Howard through a third party.

“That’s fantastic news,” he said. “Our hope is that maybe she’ll not work through a third provider and come back to school and we can wrap around her and provide her the necessary support.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schalmont girls’ basketball cruises in season opener

LANSINGBURGH – All the television shows with long runs go through different cast members. It’s no different with basketball teams.

The cast at Schalmont is slightly different this year, nine months after the Sabres won the Class B state championship in girls basketball. But just as TV shows have good writing to sustain them, Schalmont has defense.

The Sabres didn’t shoot well in the first quarter of their season opener Friday, but it didn’t matter, as their defense helped provide a 21-4 lead after the first quarter en route to a 74-21 Colonial Council win over Lansingburgh.

Schalmont graduated 2,000-point scorer Payton Graber and Haley Burchhardt, both all-state selections, but has another all-stater returning in 6-foot junior Karissa Antoine. She showed her all-around game Friday with a game-high 25 points, to go along with nine rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. 

Not just as a returning starter, but as a junior on a team with only one senior, Antoine is now a leader for the Sabres.

“It’s just about rebuilding and finding where our connection is now,” Antoine said. “So slowly but surely, we’re building that back. And the more we get at it, the better we’ll be. It’s just a work in progress, every day.”

Antoine has said it has been fun to take on more of a leadership role.

“It’s just about taking the JV players that came up under my wing and showing them, because they’re going to be in my position someday. It’s just about showing them what our program is about and keeping it going,” Antoine said.

The main thing the program has been about is defense, and that was a welcome fall-back as shots didn’t fall early.

“I think we shot, like, 10 percent in the first quarter, but the kids completely bought in to playing defense,” Schalmont coach Jeff Van Hoesen said. “They love playing defense, and it puts us in a spot where we can score off that.”

“Our defense has always been the best thing we can do,” Antoine said. “That’s just something [Van Hoesen] kept pushing at us: keep it up on defense, hands all over the place, keep them out of the middle.”

Guard Gianna Cirilla, the other returning starter from last year’s team, added 24 points, three steals and three assists. Mikaela Frank had 11 points, six rebounds and four steals, while freshman Arianna Brandon finished with 10 points and six steals.

“Arianna was usually first or second off the bench [last season],” Van Hoesen said. “In the state run, she got some big minutes. We’re happy we brought her up last year to give her that experience playing with Payton and Haley, and now she’s coming into her own, even as a ninth-grader. You can see the maturity, and her game is starting to come, and she’s starting to do a good job for us.”

Van Hoesen said the players all have different roles now, but they’re embracing the opportunity. Having such a comfortable lead Friday helped the Sabres work on different aspects.

“I thought the kids played hard, and I was happy with how they handled our first game,” Van Hoesen said.

 

Schalmont 21 26 18 9 – 74

Lansingburgh 4 5 3 9 – 21

Schalmont scoring: Frank 4-0-11, Cirilla 10-0-24, Devine 1-0-2, Antoine 11-2-25, Hindes 1-0-2, Brandon 2-6-10. Lansingburgh scoring: Sheppie 3-0-6, Espada 1-0-2, Johnson 3-1-8, Miller 1-0-2, Losee 0-1-1, Goyette 1-0-2. Scoring totals: Schalmont 29-8-74. Lansingburgh 9-2-21.

Siena College names 13th President

LOUDONVILLE — Siena College on Friday announced that longtime faculty member Dr. Charles Seifert will be its next president. He’ll step into the position at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year next fall as the college’s 13th president. He will succeed current President Chris Gibson after his tenure ends in June.

“Being the 13th president of the college is an amazing opportunity,” Seifert said. “But, it’s also one that inspires me and excited me every, single, day.”

Seifert has been with Siena for 26 years in a variety of roles such as dean for the School of Business; professor of management; and executive director for the Institute of Leadership Development.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University at Buffalo, an MBA in finance from Sage Graduate School and a PhD in organizational studies from the University at Albany.

“We are at a pivotal moment in Siena’s history,” Seifert said. “We’re on the verge of something really special and I know that we have the people, and the plans in place right now to be able to meet those very ambitious goals.”

Seifert has worked as a leadership consultant for a number of public and private organizations. Before coming to Siena College Seifert worked in a number of positions in banking and finance, and was the Chief Financial Officer of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Seifert’s nomination to President was unanimously agreed upon by the presidential search committee, said Thomas Baldwin, chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees. 

“We looked within our home for someone who embodies our value system,” Siena’s 10th president, Father Kevin Mullin, said. “Someone who has experience.”

Now is a historic moment for Siena College, the college’s current president, Chris Gibso,n said.

Gibson announced his retirement in September. He was appointed president in 2020 as the college’s first non-friar to hold the position.

“When you look at Chuck Seifert, he’s perfectly prepared for this moment,” Gibson said. “And we’re so grateful that he and Debie [Seifert’s wife] said yes.”

Saratoga City officials seek olive branch from DA in gag order case

SARATOGA SPRINGS — City officials on Friday backed off voting on a resolution to condemn Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen for getting a temporary restraining order preventing them and city employees from talking about the Nov. 20 Broadway shootings. 

However, the city did request that City Attorney Anthony Izzo email the district attorney stating that if she dropped the gag order they would meet with her to talk over how to handle incidents like the shooting, but if she didn’t drop the order the city would look at fighting the order in court.

“We don’t want litigation either,” said Public Safety Commissioner James Montignino. “We didn’t start the litigation. If District Attorney Heggen were to …  have the gag order vacated then we would welcome that as an olive branch.” 

He also said he believes there could be some good conversation regarding policies for future situations. 

The move came after Heggen had a letter hand-delivered to Izzo just hours before the city’s special meeting Friday afternoon asking city officials to meet to discuss “mutual goals and concerns” to prevent future restraining orders.

In the letter, Heggen said she had no other option but to get the gag order after her concerns regarding a press conference the mayor and public safety commissioner held on Nov. 20 were not addressed and after the two officials continued to discuss the incident. 

“Despite my warnings regarding the impact dissemination of the videos and other information beyond assuring the community there was no threat to public safety at that time, the public safety commissioner and the mayor offered speculation and inaccuracies to the media while outside City Hall crucial evidence was still being gathered on Broadway by police,” she said in the letter. 

When asked by The Gazette to provide clarity on what details were incorrect to ensure accuracy in reporting Heggen declined to comment further. 

During the public comment portion of the special meeting former public safety commissioners Robin Dalton and Chris Mathiesen called out the City Council and told them not to support the resolution put forth by Public Safety Commissioner James Montignino. 

“I am frankly appalled and embarrassed by the leadership of our public safety commissioner and our mayor,” Dalton said. 

She said the mayor and public safety commissioner have put the entire investigation at risk. 

“To not understand but then to want to go on and litigate this gag order is just beyond my comprehension,” she said. “This is not what we elected you to do — these like vanity lawsuits.”

Mathiesen said in the past a press conference like the one the mayor and public safety commissioner held would have been done by the Police Department. 

“Using taxpayer funds to fight the DA’s temporary restraining order is not a good use of these funds -– of city funds,” he said. “This is basically a city council temper tantrum.” 

All of this comes just one day after the mayor met with bar owners, according to Lucy’s Bar co-owner Kelsey McPartland. 

She said topics discussed included creating a committee with police and city officials to talk about safety along Caroline Street. The bar owners also talked about proposals to close bars earlier, check people for weapons with electronic detectors and having bars hire security to block off Caroline Street. 

Lucy’s Bar, which is listed as closing at 4 a.m., but leaves it up to the bartenders, is against the suggested 2 a.m. closure time the city is looking to also establish. 

McPartland said they would be in favor of checking people for weapons and believes it should be a security measure all bars implement. 

No solution has been agreed upon yet,” she said.

EDITORIAL: Governments prove they can live with less tax revenue

When individuals or families experience a loss of income they learn to adjust their spending habits and expectations.

They drive less, cut the thermostat at night, shop more efficiently for bargains and sales, and put off purchases of new vehicles or home improvements. They do what they can to cope.

Governments, it turns out, can do the same thing. During the pandemic, Saratoga and Schenectady counties gave residents a break from their financial hardships by capping the local share of taxes they collect from the sale of gasoline — only taxing the first $2 of a gallon of gas.

For drivers who got used to paying between $4 and $5 a gallon, it resulted in significant savings, which came at a time of super-high inflation.

The suspension of the gas tax also deprived the counties of revenue they could have collected had they charged the tax on the full amount.

Yet the county governments have continued to function without the tax revenue. In fact, Schenectady County expects an increase in sales tax revenue will help offset the loss.

Same thing with the state, which temporarily cut its share of the gas tax by about 17 cents a gallon. The state still appears to be functioning.

Unfortunately for motorists who commute to work and travel for business and pleasure, that fiscal relief may be about to end.

Schenectady County’s suspension of the tax is scheduled to end at the end of February, while the relief in Saratoga County and the state is scheduled to sunset at the end of this month.

What this experiment demonstrates is that government may not need to be burdening taxpayers as much as it has been. If officials can run fully functioning governments without the full revenue from the gas tax, then maybe they don’t need it all.

With that realization, those governments should consider granting an extension on the tax suspension for a while longer, maybe six months to start. Or they might consider some kind of hybrid plan, which sets the gas tax on a sliding scale based on how high gas prices rise in the future, as state Sen. Jim Tedisco has proposed.  They could consider lowering the regular tax on a full gallon. Or they could altogether end the local share of the tax above $2 a gallon.

It’s said that once government imposes a tax, that tax becomes permanent. But in these cases, when a national health emergency compelled some governments to withdraw a tax, they managed to make due with less revenue.

It’s a lesson for not only these local counties, but one for other counties and the state to follow.

New Yorkers are among the highest taxed residents in the country. Suspending, lowering or eliminating the gas tax would go a long way toward easing that burden.

Gloversville boys’ basketball has sights set on another successful season

GLOVERSVILLE — After reaching the Section II Class A title game last season, the Gloversville boys’ basketball team has its sights set on a return trip.

“We’re excited about this year. We have some high expectations,” Gloversville coach Ed Collar said. “We’re pretty deep and we’ve got a lot of talented players returning.”

After starting last season 1-5, the Dragons went on to go 13-5 in their last 18 games to earn a spot in the Class A championship game against Mekeel Christian Academy. The Lions posted a 64-30 win, leaving Gloversville wanting another opportunity this season.

“We want to make a run at the Foothills and take one more step in sectionals,” coach Collar said. “We got to the finals last year, but we want to get back and take the next step.”

Gloversville lost Garrett Dooling, Giorgio Glionna, Anthony Gray, John Heimer V, Nicholas LaRowe and Brett Rulison to graduation. Glionna was a third-team Foothills Council all-star.

Despite the departures, the Dragons return a solid group.

Seniors James Collar and Leo Perez, juniors Dominic Dorman and Rocco Insonia, and sophomore Caelan Porter all return for Gloversville.

The Dragons will be bolstered by the addition of senior transfer Mariano DiCaterino, who was a second-team Foothills Council all-star last season as a junior at Broadalbin-Perth.

Junior Jaiden Artis, Jason Clark and Yaniel Colon Brigantty; sophomore Jordan Collar and freshman Rowan Halloran round out the Gloversville roster.

“These kids have worked hard in the offseason,” Collar said. “They played AAU together and they’ve put a lot of time in. They know what the goals are and if you set lofty goals, you’ve got to put time and effort in to reach them.”

With the Foothills Council returning to two divisions this season, it dropped the number of league games from 18 to 14, leaving room for more non-league contests.

Gloversville scheduled a solid non-league slate with games against Tamarac, Troy, Schenectady, Cobleskill-Richmondville and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

The Dragons also faced Schalmont, Green Tech, Niskayuna and Ballston Spa in its four preseason scrimmages.

“We’ve faced some good teams in our preseason scrimmages and our regular-season schedule is challenging,” coach Collar said. “I want the kids to love competition and that’s what gets you ready for sectionals.”

Gloversville is scheduled to open its season Sunday, facing Tamarac in the Western Athletic Conference Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic at Fulton-Montgomery Community College at 5:45 p.m. The Dragons are slated to host Troy in their home opener Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“We’re healthy so far and that’s always a good thing,” coach Collar said. “It’s a long season and lot’s of things can happen along the way. The key is getting the team to peak at the end of the season. Hopefully, we’ll pile up some wins along the way, stay healthy and get to where we want to go.”

Glenville to celebrate Tree Lighting and Chowder Festival this weekend

GLENVILLE – Glenville will celebrate its annual tree lighting Saturday and, for the first time ever, the event will also include a chowder festival.

The chowder festival starts at 6 p.m. and the tree lighting will take place after Santa’s arrival at 7 p.m. at the corner of Route 50 and Glenridge Road.

“Santa will be arriving at 7 p.m. via the East Glenville Fire Department on a bucket truck,” Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said. “We’ll do the tree lighting shortly after that, and then folks can visit with Santa and continue to get their chowder. It’s going to be a nice event for the community.”

Local restaurants — Lily’s Cafe, Luna’s Pizza & Pasta, Ruggiero’s and Maxon’s American Grill — will offer 3 ounce samples of chowder, and tickets for the chowder will be $2. All of the proceeds will go to Toys for Tots.

“We also do this to support Toys for Tots,” Koetzle said. “It’s a free event the town is putting on. You have to pay for the chowder cups but everything else is free. We ask that people bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. We’d like to collect as many toys as possible.”

Glenville Rotary will be at the event with cookies and hot cocoa. The First National Bank of Scotia will have the bank open for people to warm up and get hot chocolate. Multiple local fire departments will also take part in the event.

“There’s a little something for everyone,” Koetzle said. “It’s a nice little event. We started it to kick off the holiday season and celebrate our lights and wreaths and our town tree, but also to support our small businesses. Get folks to the commercial corridor, shopping, visiting the small businesses, going to get a bite to eat.”

Backyard Sheds has allowed for one of its sheds to be decorated and used for photographs at Saturday’s event, Kulak’s is helping with decorations, and Emily Walsh of Freckles Photography will be taking photos, Glenville Clerk Julie Davenport said.

“Glenville is an amazing community, especially when they find out something is a fundraiser,” Davenport said. “And everyone is volunteering their time, which is a really nice thing. It would not have been possible without the work of the Scotia-Glenville Events Committee.”

Glenville’s Tree Lighting and Chowder Festival takes place Saturday night, and Sunday is Scotia’s Holiday on the Avenue. Sunday’s event starts at 2 p.m. The day will include free children’s activities, a holiday parade, balloon twisters, character art, pony rides, Santa and Mrs. Clause. Sunday will also offer shopping, foods and drinks, live music and more followed by a tree lighting. 

Couple hopes to popularize Irish stick fighting in the Capital Region

The glossy and gnarled walking sticks that adorn John Borter and fiancée Trish Chiovari’s Coxsackie home aren’t just made for hiking.

Known as shillelaghs, they’re used in a martial art called bataireacht, or Irish stick fighting.

Chiovari and Borter are part of a movement to revive and popularize it. The martial artists have spent the last few months bringing it not only to the Capital Region but across New York State, and will soon start offering classes at Modern Self-Defense on Central Ave. in Colonie.

Irish stick fighting uses a blend of fencing, boxing and grappling techniques and has fighters punch and strike with their shillelaghs.

Its roots go back more than 500 years and the fighting style thrived during the 1700s when the British occupied Ireland and outlawed people from carrying most weapons, according to the BBC. The shillelagh, which was often made of blackthorn, oak or hawthorn, looked like a walking stick but could be used as a weapon.

It was also used in faction fighting in the 1700s and 1800s. Factions, made up of families or various social groups, would fight sometimes to the death in illegal melees, held at festivals and funerals. Stick fighting styles were passed down from father to son for generations before the martial art form declined in popularity, in part because of the Irish potato famine. According to the BBC, it had nearly disappeared in the country by the turn of the 20th century.

It was kept going mainly by Glen Doyle, a Canadian martial artist of Irish descent whose family has a long history of Irish stick fighting. For years, Doyle has taught his family’s style, including to people like Irishman Bernard Leddy who became a coach and went on to Borter and Chiovari.

Borter has been practicing and teaching a variety of martial arts for three decades, including at Modern Self-Defense. He also created the ABC Women’s Self-Defense program. Chiovari has been practicing martial arts for the last decade. They have experience with a range of styles but Irish stick fighting is a whole new ball game.

“Irish stick is just a totally separate thing,” Borter said, adding, “It’s so much fun. I’ve been in martial arts for over 30 years and this is the first time I’ve been really excited about something in a long time.”

They trained with Leddy, sometimes over Zoom, for about a year before they became coaches. According to Borter, Chiovari is the first woman to become a coach in what’s known as the Doyle style of Irish stick fighting.

One of the things that attracted Chiovari to it was its practicality.

“It’s a really practical style. There are martial arts out there that take a really long time to pick up. The learning curve is very steep because it’s just a little more esoteric, or it’s maybe a little bit more complicated. Irish stick is meant to be learned quickly and easily,” Chiovari said.

“It’s something that doesn’t require a ton of time to really start to feel competent and that’s great because there are so many things out there where you just spent so much time on them and you feel like an idiot for so long. But with Irish stick, you pick it up and within a matter of a few hours and you feel like [you] can actually use this if [you] had to,” Chiovari said.

Beyond self-defense techniques, it also provides a good, if not overly taxing, workout.

“It’s not a heavy workout. You’re not lifting truck tires and swinging ropes, but you’re active. You’re moving, your blood is pumping,” Borter said.

They started teaching about six months ago, hosting what they call an Irish stick study group in the Coxsackie area. At first, only a few people regularly attended the weekly sessions but it has steadily grown. They usually have about 22 people in the group, some who come from as far away as New York City, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and range in age from 8 to their 80s.

In a typical session, they’ll start with a warm-up and move into teaching strikes and blocks, along with critiquing stances and footwork.

“There’s not a bottomless number of techniques that they have to learn,” Borter said. But there’s a lot that can be done with the system.

Students practice with a training stick, which Chiovari and Borter can supply or students can bring their own. (In addition to teaching Irish stick fighting, Borter makes training sticks out of a variety of different wood types.)

To train, practitioners don’t often use actual shillelaghs because of their cost, antique value, or historical significance. Borter and Chiovari are avid shillelagh collectors and have approximately 100 that they’ve gathered during their time training and working to popularize Irish stick fighting.

They’re part of a small group of Doyle-style coaches in the U.S. and they’ve taught Irish stick seminars around the Northeast and started a Facebook group called The Irish Stick that’s become popular.

“Right now we have 4,500 people on the Facebook page we built about 10 months ago. We put so much time and effort into helping the system grow and getting it out there just because we love what we do,” Borter said.

They plan to start teaching Irish stick at Modern Self-Defense in December and they’re also working to start other study groups.

“I would love to see this as a class at every YMCA, community center [and] social group in the area,” Borter said.

Modern Self-Defense Academy is located at 1237 Central Ave. Suite 210, Albany. For more information visit theirishstick.com.

Kosack’s graduated, but his work for kids continues at Union hockey with toy drive

SCHENECTADY Union men’s hockey player Josh Kosack may have graduated from the college in June, but his legacy with helping the C.O.C.O.A. House in Schenectady remains.

The Dutchmen and the Dutchwomen will be collecting new, unwrapped toys as part of the C.O.C.O.A. House toy drive during their games on Saturday. The women face Princeton at 3 p.m., while the men take on Northeastern at 7 p.m.

All the toys collected will be distributed to kids in need in the Capital Region.

Union junior forward Liam Robertson helped deliver toys with Kosack during Christmas 2020. The Union men’s and women’s teams didn’t play that season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For Robertson, the toy drive means a lot to him.

“Especially how much work Josh has put in, [and] especially with the community around Schenectady, including the C.O.C.O.A. House,” Robertson said during the team’s media availability Tuesday at Messa Rink. “It’s a big night for all of us. It’s been a part of Union hockey for the last couple of years now. We’re looking forward to it and seeing what the community can bring together. It’s gonna be exciting.”

Kosack’s work with the C.O.C.O.A. House earned him the Hockey Humanitarian Award in April. 

Dutchmen senior goalie Connor Murphy was roommates with Kosack last season, so he had a front-row seat to the work Kosack put in.

“I was able to kind of see a lot of things firsthand as to what he did with it, and the amount of work that he put in off to the side,” Murphy said. “Even with all the schoolwork and hockey at the same time, the ability for him to do all the extra stuff like that was impressive to see and it’s very eye opening. This means a lot for us to be able to help out and keep this going for him.”

Union junior forward Tyler Watkins echoed Murphy’s sentiments.

“In my two years here with ‘Kozie,’ I saw how much work he did outside of the rink,” Watkins said. “Just kind of helping in any way we can to continue that and keep that going, so I think it’s going to be a special night for sure.”

SCOUTING NORTHEASTERN

Northeastern is 7-5-3 and ranked 18th in the USCHO.com poll and 19th in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll. The Huskies are coming off a 6-4 loss to Western Michigan in a game played in Nashville, Tennessee, last Friday. The Huskies have lost two straight, and are 1-3-1 in their last five.

Aidan McDonough leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 11 assists in 14 games. Justin Hryckowian is second with nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games.

The big storyline in this game is Murphy facing his former team after transferring to Union following the 2020-21 season.

Northeastern leads the series 5-3-1. In the last meeting on Oct. 12, 2019 at Messa, the Huskies edged the Dutchmen 2-1.

Contact Ken Schott by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @slapschotts.