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NYC priest appointed Catholic bishop of Albany

Rev. Msgr. Edward B. Scharfenberger is the bishop-elect for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. -

ALBANY - Bishop-elect Edward Scharfenberger is the next leader of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.

The 65-year-old priest and lawyer comes from the Brooklyn Diocese.

"I like to learn. It's one of the things I like," he said. "I like to hear and to be a good learner. You have to be a good listener. So challenge me to be a good listener, to hear where you want to see the church to go, to give me the guidance and support to take you as your leader where God wants us to go."

He recently served as pastor of St. Matthias Church, which is a large multi-ethnic parish in Queens. During this time he was also a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors.

He speaks French, Italian, German and Spanish.

He will be replacing Bishop Howard Hubbard who led the diocese for 37 years and was required to submit his resignation when he turned 75 in October.

Rensselaer County starts suicide post-vention response team

Rensselaer County has a suicide prevention task force.

Now the county can also help families and communities affected by suicide.

The county has set up a suicide post-vention response team.

It consists of educators, first responders, mental health professionals and clergy. They have been trained in connect, a program developed by the national alliance on mental illness.

The suicide post-vention response team can be reached at (518) 271-3299.

Funding comes from the New York State Department of Mental Health.

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.

Schaghticoke native graduates basic training

(Courtesy: Joint Hometown News Service)

For immediate release:

Air National Guard Airman Jacob E. Hemstreet graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Hemstreet is the son of Steven and Joanne Hemstreet of Schaghticoke. He is a 2013 graduate of Hoosic Valley High School, Schaghticoke.

Rensselaer County Legislature to hold monthly meeting

The Rensselaer County Legislature is holding their first regular monthly meeting for 2014 on Tuesday night.

The meeting will be held in the legislative chambers of the County Office Building, 1600 7th Avenue in Troy. Presentations begin at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is at 6 p.m.

"Safe Ride" users up this year

The numbers are out for Rensselaer County's new “Safe Ride” program. More people took advantage of the service than last year.

The program provides free rides home for people who have been out drinking for the New Year's holiday.

According to Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino's office, 31 rides were provided and 63 people were returned home. That's a 42 percent increase over last year.

The program was sponsored by Rensselaer County in partnership with the Netter's Fund.

Cuomo lays out his agenda for NY in election year

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address. - WNYT

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is delivering a broad election-year agenda in a State of the State speech promoting a property tax freeze, tougher anti-corruption laws and modernizing New York City's airports.

Cuomo is seeking a second term this year and the speech Wednesday gives him a high-profile forum to promote his first three years while unveiling an agenda with elements that will please both social progressives and financial conservatives.

The governor thanked his partners in the legislature for everything they accomplished in the last year, but showed the state how much more needs to get done.

He gave an early look at a sweeping $2 billion tax relief proposal that includes property tax rebates for homeowners in municipalities that meet tax thresholds and a cut in corporate tax rates.