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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

Redistricting proposal redraws town lines

Proposed map places Kuhn into a different Bethlehem legislative district, quelling primary bid

Another legal battle is looming over county legislature district lines, because Bethlehem Democrats claim the new plan submitted to the court unnecessarily shifts lines within the town.

County legislators OK fracking waste ban

Local law would prohibit disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste at landfills

Hydraulic fracturing is banned statewide, but county legislators want to ensure none of the waste produced from the natural gas extraction method enters local landfills.

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Show some love to a favorite park

Events at local parks highlight annual 'I Love My Park Day.’

Even a park could use a little bit of spring-cleaning before flowers bloom and wildlife roam, along with many eager trail-goers and bird watchers.

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Tobacco display ban touted [video]

Retailers support county bill to shield tobacco products; push back over compromise

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Legislator Mary Lou Connolly, flanked by supermarket and pharmacy store representatives, announced a local law prohibiting the display of tobacco in retail establishments with a pharmacy.

Albany County redistricting violated Voting Rights Act

Court rules county plan diluted power of black voters, orders new minority-majority district

County officials are barred from holding elections until a new redistricting plan is drafted after a federal judge ruled the recent plan dilutes the power of black voters.

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Educators: Cuomo is failing us

Regional forum rallies for equitable education funding, local control of classrooms

Many education advocates over the last few years have criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not supporting public schools. Now some question if he’s intentionally working against them.

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McCoy eyes a healthier county

County executive focuses on nursing home, veterans, heroin scourge initiatives

County Executive Dan McCoy recently delivered his fourth State of the County address, which emphasized last year’s accomplishments and introduced new initiatives for his administration.

Report: Schools fiscally de-stress

Guilderland still susceptible to fiscal stress, South Colonie drops designation

Budget gaps and potential reductions might be looming for many school boards, but a recent report found most local school districts are not fiscally stressed.

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School leaders bemoan governor’s proposals

Cuomo unveils education reforms tied to funding increase; state aid runs absent

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed several initiatives targeting K-12 education during his joint 2015 State of the State address and budget presentation Wednesday, Jan. 21. Cuomo offered increasing funding to school districts statewide by $1.1 billion, but only if all of his education reforms are enacted.

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'Toxic-Free Toys Act' signed into law

Local lawmakers defied calls from toy industry representatives to let state or federal officials draft changes to what levels of chemicals are allowed in children’s products.

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