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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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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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Police: Berne teenager kills 5-year-old cousin, falsely reports abduction

A Berne teenager allegedly killed her 5-year-old cousin and disposed of his body, before falsely reporting the boy was forcefully abducted from her home, according to police.

Albany County Legislature reduction advances

Public hearing to be held on contentious downsize, some question timing

The Albany County Legislature voted 22-14 in favor of holding a public hearing Monday, Dec. 29, at 7:15 p.m., on amending the county charter to reduce the amount of legislators from 39 to 29 members.

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Albany County Legislature OKs ‘Toxic-free Toys Act’

Lawmakers approve ban on children’s products with known carcinogens

The Albany County Legislature on Monday, Dec. 8, voted 34-4 to approve Local Law J, known as the Toxic-Free Toys Act. The new law would ban the sale of children’s products containing benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium and cobalt within the county.

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Jerry’s Law is on the books

V’ville teen suicide victim's family hopes legislation will spare others from tragedy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed “Jerry’s Law” last month, which ended the three-year crusade of Mary Clark to get a state law passed to help other families avoid the same tragedy her family faced.

Albany County Legislature could be shrinking

Albany County Legislative Chairman Shawn Morse and Democratic Majority Leader Frank Commisso introduced a local law Thursday night, Dec. 4, during a Democratic caucus. The legislature will set the date for a public hearing on the proposal at its meeting Monday night.

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