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Editorial

John Purcell

Reporter
518-439-4949 Ext: 429

Senior reporter John Purcell has worked at Spotlight News for four 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 in Schenectady County. 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.

Recent Stories

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Invasive trees being removed in Pine Bush

Commission set to clear 47 acres of black locust trees, reclaim landscape

Hundreds of invasive trees will be removed from the Pine Bush Preserve before next year, which will dramatically shift the landscape in preparation for a native habitat.

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The buzz at Farnsworth Middle School garden [video]

Local beekeepers looking to spur interest in honey hobby, offer guidance

Jennifer Ford and Keith Freeman conducted their first beehive inspection Friday morning, July 18, at Farnsworth Middle School’s Organic Garden. The couple has kept beehives at their home since 2008 and started maintaining one at the garden this summer.

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Veterans push Albany County legislators on housing plan

Democrats draft last-minute amendment to clear step for Solider On project

Dozens of veterans spoke out against Democratic legislators proposing to stall Solider On’s housing project, which spurred a last-minute amendment to clear a procedural step.

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Taking a bite into fighting crime

Albany County Sheriff’s Office initiatives presented to Capital Region Rotary Club

Rotarians got an up-close look into aspects of the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, from a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle to a transmitter that helps find those who wander.

UPDATED: Voorheesville set to harness solar power

Village signs contract with Monolith Solar for panels at two sites

Voorheesville is the latest municipality to enter a Power Purchase Agreement to reap guaranteed solar power savings as rebates making such proposals more appealing are dwindling.

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Drama outside theater walls

Eighth annual Helderberg Theater Festival features twist on classic, youth directors

The Classic Theater Guild Inc. and Indian Ladder Farms are teaming up again for The 2014 Helderberg Theater Festival, which will be held outdoors at the farm from July 17 to 27.

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Guilderland school district drops construction manager

Turner Construction Company to oversee $17M improvements project

Guilderland Central School District ended its contract with a familiar company from overseeing construction of an improvements project after expectations were reportedly not met.

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Fowl are fair game in Guilderland

Zoning board precedent allows pet chickens, Town Board to weigh zoning revisions

Seeking to keep chickens on residential property in Guilderland will typically be much less of a public appeal — at least until any changes are made to the town code.

Guilderland keeps reduced sub rate at schools

Administrators urge pay restoration after trouble attracting substitute teachers

Guilderland Board of Education members Tuesday, July 1, voted 5-4 to maintain daily rates for substitute teachers during the 2014-15 school year. District administrators recommended restoring the daily pay rates after difficulties getting substitutes.

Court strikes down Albany County's cyberbullying law

State’s highest court rules statute unconstitutional, McCoy seeking new bill

The state Court of Appeals struck down the county’s cyberbullying law in a 5-2 decision Monday, July 1, with the majority ruling the statute as written was too broad and violated the First Amendment. Albany County Executive Dan McCoy vowed to work with legislators to draft a new law.

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