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John Halacy sentenced for Colonie burglary

ALBANY - A Rensselaer man who escaped rape charges due to a technical error will spend five and a half years in state prison for a different crime.

John Halacy was sentenced Thursday for his role in a Colonie burglary.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to the burglary in March.

The robbery happened in November 2013 when Halacy entered a residence on Haswell Road in Colonie and stole televisions, computers and video games. The occupants of the residence were not home at the time.

Police say two other men also played a role in the burglary. Halacy’s brother, Raymond Halacy, has pleaded guilty to the crime. Andre Beverly is still awaiting court action.

Poestenkill wages public battle against heroin addiction

POESTENKILL - The message Monday night in Poestenkill was that heroin is everywhere, reaching into every community in America.

Even in tiny, rural Poestenkill, young people are experimenting with opiates, they're getting hooked, and they're dying.

To begin a public battle against abuse and addiction, multi generations of people jammed into the town fire house, to deal with what has become a national epidemic.

Louis Dess, the Rensselaer County deputy commissioner of mental health, says it's not hard to trace the root of the problem.

"Since 2000, the prescribed opiate medication that doctors are prescribing have gone up 300%," Desso says, "In that same time, since 2000, the overdose deaths have gone up the same number."

Halacy pleads guilty to Thanksgiving burglary in Colonie

ALBANY – John Halacy, the man who escaped rape charges in Rensselaer County, has pleaded guilty in another criminal case.

Halacy pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in Albany County Court on Thursday morning. He admitted to breaking into a Colonie home on Thanksgiving Day.

His brother and friend are accused of helping him in the burglary.

Halacy stole more than $10,000 worth of items from the home.

He faces five and half years in prison.

In November 2013, rape charges against Halacy were dropped because of a mistake by the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office.

David Cassidy's DWI case near resolution

Former teen star David Cassidy was arrested for DWI in August. - File / WNYT

SCHODACK, N.Y. (AP) - A lawyer representing seventies teen heartthrob David Cassidy says a drunken driving charge against the actor has been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and returned to a town court near Albany for resolution.

Cassidy was pulled over in the town of Schodack and charged with DWI in August when he was in upstate New York for the horse racing meet in Saratoga Springs.

The charge was a felony because Cassidy has a 2011 DUI conviction in his home state Florida.

Attorney Lucas Mihuta says Tuesday that the 63-year-old "Partridge Family" star won't be in Schodack court Wednesday evening because he's in alcohol rehabilitation after a January DWI arrest in Los Angeles.

Mihuta says he'll ask the judge for an adjournment while details of a plea deal are completed.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Rensselaer County residents warned of phone scam

Police are warning Rensselaer County residents of a new phone scam.

A Hoosick couple told police they got six phone calls from a man claiming to be a bail bondsman.

The couple says the man told them $1,800 was needed to bail their nephew out of jail in Maryland.

However, the nephew was actually fine and living in a different state.

Anyone with more information can call Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department at (518) 266-1900.

Impaired driving crackdown planned for Super Bowl weekend

State Police say they plan to crack down on impaired driving this Super Bowl weekend. That includes people who text along with those who drink.

It's part of a statewide Stop DWI initiative, which is set to take place from Friday to Monday.

The State Police plan to partner with county sheriff's departments and local law enforcement to find impaired drivers.

The effort comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed tougher texting and drinking while driving laws in the state. Among them – a law that suspends licenses for five years after two DWI convictions, and revokes licenses for life after three convictions. Another new law would suspend the license for a full year, of anyone under 21 who texts and drives.

Underage Hoosick man accused of having alcohol, stun gun

Police say they found an electronic stun gun and a bottle of rum in 19-year-old Brandon Brownell's possession. - New York State Police

PITTSTOWN – Police say they arrested an underage Hoosick man for having alcohol and a stun gun.

Brandon Brownell was the passenger during a traffic stop Thursday in Pittstown.

Police say they found an electronic stun gun and a bottle of rum in his possession.

The 19-year-old was released and is due back in court at a later date.