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John Purcell has worked at Spotlight News for more than three years and covers Albany County suburbs.
Purcell covers the towns of Guilderland and New Scotland, the villages of Altamont and Voorheesville and Albany County news and feature stories. He also covers the school districts of Guilderland and Voorheesville. Previously, he covered Schenectady County for Spotlight News.
In the New York Press Association's 2011 Better Newspaper Contest he received third place honors in Spot News Coverage for his story on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Also, in NYPA's 2010 contest he received honorable mention for best news story.
Before joining Spotlight, he interned at The Legislative Gazette covering state government. He graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in Journalism. Also, he is a Schenectady County native.
Limited funding scales back Guilderland Center sidewalk proposal to pedestrian pathway
Hamlet residents were surprised to hear the sidewalk slated for Guilderland Center, which took several years from conception to construction, was technically going to be a pathway. The difference between the two comes down to a curb.
Uncontested races the norm locally, some use paper ballots to keep costs down
Locally this month, there are elections in both the Village of Colonie and Voorheesville, with only the Colonie race seeing a contest. There is also a contested race in the Village of Ravena. Most village elections, however, don’t inspire the same political discourse of town, county or state races and the county Board of Elections often isn't involved.
Superintendent proposes $1.8M of cuts, with middle school bolstered for boom
Superintendent Marie Wiles presented her proposed spending plan for next school year Thursday, Feb. 27, which totals nearly $91.5 million and stays within the district's maximum allowable tax levy increase of 2.17 percent.
Village officials say little progress made with county on accessing grant
Around three months ago, Albany County legislators unanimously awarded Voorheesville $27,500 to complete an engineering study outlining the installation of a quad gate at its railroad crossing. Village officials, though, are still waiting to get their hands on the money.
Expert estimates moving building as-is could cost around $500K, smaller scale options possible
Raising the LeVie barn was a townwide effort 115 years ago, and relocating the building will likely take a similar effort.
Public hears about $4.1M plan for Albany-Bethlehem pathway portion
The Albany County Department of Public works held an open house Thursday, Feb. 20, on the third phase of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail at Bethlehem Town Hall. The project as proposed is estimated to cost $4.18 million, with county officials needing to cut around $40,000 to stay within budget.
Thacher Nature Center to host annual environment-inspired art exhibit, offering art classes
Artistic inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but one local art show is rooted in Mother Nature’s visual appeal.
Albany County gets $656k grant for Counsel at First Appearance program
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced the county was awarded $656,000 of state grant funding for the Counsel at First Appearance Project on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The three-year grant will be used to provide legal representation during arraignment to those who cannot afford an attorney.
Third bay will be added for town paramedic vehicle, construction bids sought
The Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Feb. 19, gave the final approval needed for Altamont Rescue Squad to start soliciting bids for an expansion. The squad’s building project required a special use permit and variances from the town.
Forum focuses on Common Core problems facing special education
Senators Cecilia Tkaczyk and Neil Breslin and Assembly members John McDonald and Phil Steck listened to comments from several speakers Tuesday, Feb. 11, discussing how implementation of the Common Core curriculum has exacerbated challenges for students with special needs.