Schenectady Police: Albany man arrested in Friday State Street murder

SCHENECTADY – An Albany man has been arrested in the murder of a man on State Street Friday, police said.

Anibal H. Madera, 27, of Albany, was arrested Wednesday morning on 17th Street in Troy and charged with one count of second-degree murder.

Madera is accused of shooting and killing Albany resident Elnahcere S. Vincent, 22, just before 8 p.m. Friday near Star Liquor on State Street, police said.

Members of the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Task Force found and arrested Madera, police said.

Madera was transported to the Schenectady Police Department, where he was awaiting arraignment Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Police thanked the task force and surrounding agencies for their assistance.

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The Parting Schotts Podcast: Talking NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, Mets

On the latest edition of “The Parting Schotts Podcast,” host and Associate Sports Editor Ken Schott is joined by NBA on ESPN Radio play-by-play announcer and Guilderland native Marc Kestecher to break down the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

Next up is Diana Nearhos, who covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Tampa Bay Times. The former hockey writer for The Post-Star in Glens Falls talks about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship.

Finally, Tim Healey, the New York Mets’ beat writer for Newsday, wraps up the team’s season and discusses the team’s potential new owner in Steve Cohen.

On Twitter, follow Associate Sports Editor Ken Schott @slapschotts and Daily Gazette Sports @dgazettesports. Email Schott at [email protected]. Listen to “The Parting Schotts Podcast” at https://dailygazette.com/sports/partingschotts, Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify and SoundCloud.

CAA announces schedule format for spring football season; League split into two divisions, six conference games for each team

The UAlbany football team got a little more clarity in regards to the makeup of its upcoming season Wednesday as the Colonial Athletic Association announced its format for the Spring 2021 football season, which will include a split into two divisions and a six-game league schedule.

According to a release from the league, CAA teams will be divided into the North and South divisions and will play six league games in a seven-week stretch, with an anticipated start date of March 6. Each team will have one bye week in its league schedule.

The makeup of the divisions and the final schedules will be announced in the next few weeks, the release said.

Teams will play all six of their CAA games within their respective divisions. The team with the best overall conference record will earn the CAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA FCS playoffs. Should the two division champions finish with the same record, a tiebreaking policy will be used to determine the conference’s automatic qualifier.

CAA teams will be permitted to play up to two non-conference games, including a non-conference game against a team that would otherwise be a league opponent. According to the NCAA, non-conference competitions can begin as early as Jan. 23.

“All of our institutions know that today’s announcement is simply the first step in the planning process associated with playing football on each of our campuses in the Spring,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in a release. “Each member institution, as well as the Conference office, has additional protocols that must be finalized and approved in order to ensure a safe return to the field. Our goal in creating this unique scheduling format was to implement a competitive model while also trying to reduce the risks associated with travel as much as we could.”

In July, the CAA announced its decision to suspend conference play in the fall due to continuing concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, while expressing a commitment to conduct the season in the spring. 

The NCAA Board of Directors recently approved a revised format for the NCAA FCS playoffs, which will feature 16 teams with 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths. The playoffs are set to begin on Saturday, April 24, with a champion being crowned in Frisco, Texas on May 14, 15 or 16.

UAlbany went 9-5 in 2019 and reached the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2011.

On Exhibit: Albany Institute offers chance to ‘sift through the morass’

ALBANY — Past and present intertwine in the latest exhibition to open at the Albany Institute of History & Art.

The 2020 “Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region” features more than 100 works of art in myriad mediums, touching on everything from the pandemic to the racial injustice that the nation has been grappling with recently. 

That’s been part of the annual exhibition’s tradition for the past 84 years. Susan Cross, the exhibition’s juror and senior curator at MASS MoCA, found several different storylines and topics that artists were tackling while wading through submissions earlier this year. 

One such storyline, perhaps the most obvious, is the coronavirus pandemic. The exhibition, which takes up much of the Institute’s second floor, opens with hand-woven linen portraits of nurses and doctors in a series called “Caregivers in the Pandemic” by Cyndy Barbone. 

Nearby, there’s an Amy Silberkleit portrait of a woman whose face is mostly covered by a mask. 

Of course, there are reminders beyond the artwork as well, such as the signs that remind visitors of the galleries’ reduced capacity. 

Other works in the opening gallery of the sweeping exhibit delve into racial injustice and the more recent Black Lives Matter protests. 

“That first room, for me, really speaks to this moment and the artists who are responding in a way directly to the pandemic, to the protests, and I wanted to set the stage that way,” Cross said. 

In the next gallery, richly textured and colored photographs span one wall, one featuring a close-up shot of pages unfurling. Created by Victor Schrager, each echoes a piece of historical or literary writing, from authors such as Herman Melville. For Cross, the works link the present to moments of history. 

Also in that gallery, Colin Chase offers a different reading of the American flag. In alternating colors or red, white and blue, the artist places lyrics from “None of Us Are Free” by The Blind Boys of Alabama to create the flag. The lyrics, “There are voices still calling across the years. And they’re all crying across the ocean, and they’re cryin’ across the land, and they will till we all come to understand. None of us are free,” are displayed in red ink. 

Chase’s work stuck out for Cross. 

“His text pieces were very direct and powerful, speaking about this moment and justices across time and space, linking people that way. Of course, the American flag is a loaded image, that to recreate it with the text from those lyrics, I thought, was giving back to the flag a whole other layer of meaning and what it should stand for,” Cross said. 

Another gallery, just across the way, features works that focus on the climate crisis. In a large installation from Jamie Rodriguez, crumbling busts and patches of tile are juxtaposed with vines, two animal figures and a gun, bullets scattered on the ground next to it. The piece, called “The Agenda — Part 3 (The Left),” is centered by a bright landscape painting in the background. 

Other works, such as Jane Bloodgood-Abrams’ “The Valley Luminous,” reflect upon the beauty of the natural landscape around us. 

“A lot of the artists were engaging with the climate crisis with works that are both overtly about that but also works that are embracing the landscape, which is so important to this region,” Cross said. “You can’t even paint a landscape now without thinking about what’s happening to the environment, and I think because of the Hudson River School and that history, a lot of the artists are engaging with that history and the beautiful landscape that we have here.”

There’s also a swath of abstract works such as Susan Crowe’s “From the Garden,” a bright work made from cut and folded watercolor paper that gives the impression of an optical illusion.

Some works are from artists with whom many will be familiar, though there are several artists whose work has not been featured in the exhibition before. 

“I think that’s what’s great about this exhibition, is that it’s a moment to see the work of artists that we do know and love seeing, and then a wonderful chance for all of us to get to know other artists in the region,” Cross said. 

“Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region” captures the depth of artistic perspective in the area as well as the importance of the arts during this time. 

“Sometimes it’s easy to lose our way struggling under the weight of the pandemic and the inequities that it has magnified and laid bare,” Cross said, “but this is a reminder that art is a place for contemplation, reflection and protest, and a place for people to convene in a way, individually and collectively, seeing the show and drawing something from it, whether that’s comfort or inspiration. … This is what art does, is try to sift through that morass.” 

For information, visit albanyinstitute.org.

‘Summerland’ 

Walking through “Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region,” it’s difficult to miss “Summerland: A Sound Installation by Matthew Ostrowski.”

The tapping sounds of well over a dozen telegraphs create a certain frenzied composition that echoes through the Institute’s second floor. With “Summerland,” Ostrowski creates imagined dialogues between the scientific and the spiritual worlds of the 1840s, during which the telegraph became commercially available. 

During that era, two sisters living in Hydesville, New York, named Maggie and Kate Fox created a series of rapping sounds to make it seem like they could communicate with spirits. The hoax spurred an interest in spiritualism. 

The sound installation acts as a sort of seance and dialogue between Kate Fox and Samuel F. B. Morse, with all the telegraphs tapping out binary code. The messages, for those who don’t know the code, are provided on the wall text. The exhibition is up through Jan. 3.

Photos: Scenes of fall in Schoharie County and Schenectady

Photos of fall Tuesday from Schenectady and Schoharie counties. Photos by Peter Barber and Erica Miller/Staff Photographers.

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Regeneron in East Greenbush reports promising results in tests of virus treatment

EAST GREENBUSH — Regeneron said Tuesday that its experimental COVID-19 treatment has shown positive results in trials, with viral levels and severity of symptoms both reduced in non-hospitalized patients.

The Westchester County-based pharmaceutical researcher/manufacturer is producing the treatment, called REGN-COV2, in its large East Greenbush production facility.

It is an antibody cocktail, a mixture of the immune system components that the human body produces to fight off infections. It is designed to reap the shorter-term benefits of antibodies rather than the long-term immunity built with a vaccine.

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Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, said the greatest benefit during the trial was seen in patients whose immune systems had not mounted an effective defense to the virus, suggesting REG-COV2 could be an effective therapeutic substitute.

Multiple trials of the treatment are ongoing.

In July, Regeneron announced it had landed a $450 million contract from the federal government to produce REGN-COV2; in August, the company announced a partnership in which Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche would co-produce the cocktail and distribute it outside the United States.

Bethlehem Police: Two people found dead in home, investigation underway

BETHLEHEM – Two people were found dead inside a Bethlehem home Tuesday and an investigation is underway, police said.

Police said, however, that they do not believe there is any imminent threat or danger to the community.

Police made the discovery just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at a single-family address on Chesterwood Drive in Selkirk, police said.

Officers went there to check on the welfare of the residents and then discovered the two people dead. They found one on the first floor and one on the second floor, police said.

The scene continued to be processed Wednesday morning by Bethlehem Police and the state police. They are expected to remain on scene most of the day. Authorities went in with a search warrant Tuesday evening.

Autopsies are scheduled for late Wednesday morning and further details were expected to be released after those were complete.

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Pioneer Bancorp reports losses in wake of Michael Mann fraud scheme

COLONIE — A massive fraud campaign cost Pioneer Bancorp $15.8 million, the Albany-based bank reported in an annual regulatory filing.

The Form 10-K posted Monday for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020, includes the period when fraud schemes run by Michael Mann through Clifton Park-based MyPayrollHR and other companies imploded.

The bank swung to a net loss of $6.5 million in the year ended June 30, 2020, from a net income of $19 million in the previous 12-month reporting period.

Pioneer, which maintained a line of credit for Mann, said it suffered significant losses it may not recover and faces multiple lawsuits and other actions that may further degrade the company’s financial condition.

Under terms of his guilty plea, Mann will be ordered to repay $101 million to more than 1,000 victims but Mann’s attorney and prosecutors alike say he does not have the money.

At the end of June, Pioneer had 245 full-time employees and 22 part-timers at its Colonie headquarters and 21 other locations.

Fire reported at Gilboa-Conesville school bus garage Wednesday morning

GILBOA – A fire has been reported at the Gilboa-Conesville Central Schools bus garage, the district said Wednesday morning.

There was no immediate information on the extent of the fire, but the district reported just after 6 a.m. that they were not aware of any injuries.

“As you may have heard there was a structure fire at the bus garage. First responders arrived and we are not currently aware of any injuries,” the district wrote on Facebook. “We will keep you updated.”

The district then later wrote that the fire was impacting food deliveries. They have been postponed and the district would notify parents when they will resume.

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Letters to the Editor Wednesday, Sep. 30

Give each county its own state senator

I urge all of you to support Senator Joseph Grillo’s and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk’s bills to change the makeup of the state Senate to one senator from each county.

I have had this idea for 10 years since back in 2010 when I ran for state comptroller. This change will make the New York State legislature more representative of the people. Right now it is too downstate centric. Contact your state senator and Assembly member.
JOHN A. GAETANI
Glenville

McConnell tramples on the Constitution

In 2016, Senator Mitch McConnell cynically shirked his constitutional responsibilities regarding the U.S. Supreme Court, citing the most dubious of justifications.

Sen. McConnell’s response to Justice Ginsburg’s death confirms that his justifications in 2016 were meritless and confirms that the court, as currently configured, is constitutionally illegitimate.

And now he intends to make matters worse. It is the duty of patriotic Americans to oust Sen. McConnell and his enablers from public office. Rep. Elise Stefanik, do you support or condemn Sen. McConnell’s trampling of the United States Constitution?
THOMAS COMPARIN
Schenectady

Biden will put the country back on track

All voters need to give serious thought about the growing turmoil, chaos, corruption, dishonesty, hate and division we have seen in our country these last four years.

We suffer an alarming, aggressive cancer that continues to spread throughout the land. It is imperative that we find an antidote and begin to heal.

That healing process will start by electing Joe Biden as our next president. Biden has said that he will only run for one term. In that one term, we will find ourselves moving back to the country once so admired and envied by the world; one of decency and compassion; one with a moral compass.

Biden will be advised by experts in their field, unlike Trump who appoints people to positions in which they have little or, worse yet, NO experience.

Biden will listen to those experts, unlike Trump who hires and fires, or just plain ignores. Biden will encourage respect, trust, and empathy for one another, unlike Trump who always has someone to blame or to call disparaging names, who leads with bullying, fear, and half-truths.

I urge all voters to vote. Vote for Joe Biden, who will begin putting us back on the right track.
SUE PENNY
Niskayuna


NY Times accurately depicted hot spot

In his Sept. 19 letter (“Times didn’t have its covid facts straight”), Andy Beiniks charged that a New York Times article appearing in The Gazette “contains completely wrong information,” and added that Times stories should be “considered as possible fiction.”

In fact, it is Mr. Beiniks who is guilty of spreading misinformation by his limited selection of data sources. He cites state Department. of Health statistics as being significantly lower than those reported by the Times. State agencies often have lags in their statistics. Any good reporter seeking the most up-to-date data would go directly to the source, and that appears to be what the Times did.

Mr. Beiniks notes that the Department of Health logged only 67 Covid cases at SUNY Oneonta in August. Currently, on its COVID-19 dashboard (updated on Sept. 20), the college reports 680 “positive cases since the start of the fall semester.”

The point of the Times story was to show how quickly a hot spot can develop. A ten-fold increase in the course of a month would certainly seem to qualify SUNY Oneonta as a frightening example of precisely that.
FRANK DONEGAN
Schenectady

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