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Editorial

John Purcell

Reporter
518-439-4949 Ext: 429

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.

Recent Stories

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New Scotland reviewing solar panel options

Company estimates photovoltaic system would be $93.6K savings over 20 years

Sunny days could be ahead for New Scotland if energy savings from a photovoltaic system are as much as an area company forecasts. The system would also provide more reliable energy costs.

State Police to conduct speeding crackdown

Weeklong campaign will also focus on aggressive and distracted driving

State Police will hold a “Speed Week” campaign from Thursday, April 17, through the following Thursday, which focuses on increased enforcement of speeding and aggressive driving violations. The campaign seeks to reduce speed-related crashes and improve traffic safety.

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Guilderland school board OKs $92M budget

Spending plan within tax cap, largely unchanged from superintendent’s initial proposal

The Guilderland Board of Education on Tuesday, April 8, unanimously adopted a 2014-15 budget totaling slightly more than $92.13 million, which increases spending around $1.1 million, or 1.22 percent. The budget holds a property tax levy increase of 1.94 percent.

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Lafarge breaks ground on plant modernization

Ravena facility renovation will replace kilns and cut emissions, retain jobs

Federal, state, and local officials and business leaders gathered on Friday, April 11, for Lafarge North America’s groundbreaking ceremony at its Ravena plant. The project will replace the more than 50-year-old equipment with “state-of-the-art” technology.

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Altamont budget keeps property taxes flat

Village board adopts 2014-15 totaling $2.14M, taps reserves

The Altamont Board of Trustees adopted a $2.14 million 2014-15 budget at the beginning of the month, which increases spending almost 1.65 percent or around $34,650. More general fund reserves are tapped to help ease the tax burden.

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Voorheesville schools’ budget gap shrinks to $176k

Overall state aid increases to $5.15M for district, contested cuts restored

Voorheesville Central School District will see an additional $144,000 of state aid, which was included in the recently approved state budget. The additional funding decreases its budget gap to around $176,500.

Public space, private business

Guilderland Library's ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ tutoring policy; neighboring libraries see less impact

Private tutors over the past several years have increasingly relied on public libraries as a space to meet up with students, according to some local library directors. How that use has affected libraries appears to vary depending on the amount of space available and the demand for it.

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GCSD: More money, same problems

Additional state aid will be used to cover increasing BOCES costs, gap nearly unchanged

Additional state aid was included in the recently adopted state budget, but the Guilderland Central School District budget will remain essentially unchanged.

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Voorheesville envisions master plan for trail’s end

Village officials eye state grants for Rail Trail enhancements, railroad museum

Voorheesville officials are looking to enhance its end of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and possibly build a museum to honor local railroad history, which has fittingly characterized the community.

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Trashed turf

Overflow parking tears up FMS field; repairs estimated to cost $6k

Athletic fields at Farnsworth Middle School were torn up after more than 1,000 people turned out for a state civil service exam and parking overflowed onto the grass.

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