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During a week that saw rising COVID-19 positivity, escalating tension between police and social justice activists in Saratoga Springs, and continued political fallout from a potentially illegal leak in the state's ethics oversight commission, a little levity came from news of the return of an annual naked stroll through Howe Caverns. Also on this e…
 
In the two decades since the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, annual memorials have been an opportunity for many to reflect and heal. For others, they are a constant reminder of shock and loss that remains as fresh as it was 20 years ago. On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union columnist Paul Grondahl recounts his exper…
 
TV news anchor and reporter Paulina Bucka left Newschannel 13 this year after just four months on the job. On this episode of The Eagle, she talks to Kristi Gustafson Barlette about why she left the station, why she thinks so many of her fellow local broadcast journalists are leaving the industry, and why she’s starting a new podcast. Also on this …
 
This week the Capital Region saw a tropical storm, the installation of New York's first woman as governor, the tragic drowning of a state trooper, and a call for the attorney general to investigate an alleged leak of confidential information from the state's ethics oversight commission. But none of these headlines came close to the traffic the Time…
 
Should kids be forced to wear face coverings at school this fall? As COVID-10 cases increase across the state, most schools will implement a universal mask policy – but some parents strongly oppose mask mandates. On this episode of "The Eagle," Times Union Editor-in-Chief Casey Seiler and Managing Editor Susan Mehalick discuss the week's top headli…
 
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has submitted his resignation. What comes next? Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, will become the first female governor in New York's history. But she inherits a state still reeling from the scandal surrounding her predecessor, and facing rising delta variant positivity. On this episode of "The Eagle," Times Union Edit…
 
One of the women who has accused embattled New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of sexual harassment is a current staffer named Brittany Commisso. Referred to as "Executive Assistant #1" in State Attorney General Tish James' scathing report released last week, Commisso alleges the governor groped her at the Executive Mansion in November. She has come forw…
 
Embattled New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faces a hailstorm of troubles this week—including growing calls for his resignation—after New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a scathing report that determined he sexually harassed 11 women, and broke several state and federal laws. On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union Editor-in-Chief …
 
Is there a cache worth millions ensconced somewhere in the Hudson Valley? Treasure hunters have long believed the early-20th century New York gangster Dutch Schultz hinted at hidden money and gold during delirious ramblings to police on his deathbed. Nothing has ever been unearthed, yet the area in and around Phoenicia, New York, remains a destinat…
 
From Secretariat and American Pharoah and Tiz the Law and Bodacious Tatas, what goes into naming a thoroughbred racehorse? And what are the rules? On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union sports reporter Abigail Rubel explains common strategies and naming conventions, and what's not allowed by The Jockey Club. Also on this episode, education repor…
 
What happens to used cooking oil after restaurants have finished with it? A criminal syndicate has developed a sophisticated scheme to steal the grease from Capital Region eateries and sell it on the black market. On this episode of The Eagle, reporter Pete DeMola talks about his investigation into the claims of a Buffalo-based oil recycling outfit…
 
A federal judge sentenced Allison Mack to three years in prison this week for her role supplying sex "slaves" to NXIVM leader Keith Raniere. Times Union reporter Rob Gavin and Eagle host Jessica Marshall traveled to Brooklyn for the hearing, where one of Mack's victims compared her to Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged enabler of late sexual predator J…
 
Former television actress and high-ranking NXIVM member Allison Mack awaits her sentence June 30 for crimes involving Keith Raniere’s cult-like organization. On this episode of The Eagle, reporter Rob Gavin talks to Tabby Chapman, a former NXIVM coach who worked closely with Mack for a time. Chapman shares her thoughts about the sentencing and expe…
 
As the country prepared this month to celebrate Juneteenth National Independence Day, Collectiveffort's Jamel Mosely spent time getting to know Alice Green, Barbara Smith and Earl Thorpe, three trailblazing Black elders in the Capital Region. His filmed interviews became part of Hearst's Lift Every Voice project, which shared stories, experiences a…
 
Nearly a third of the population of the city of Albany is Black. The vast majority of those residents live in only three neighborhoods: West Hill, Arbor Hill and the South End. These neighborhoods have the city’s highest poverty rates and lowest percentages of homeownership. On this episode of The Eagle, reporters Massarah Mikati and Eduardo Medina…
 
What's it like inside one of those massive Amazon fulfillment centers? Times Union reporter Rick Karlin paid a rare visit to the first upstate New York facility of its kind in Schodack this week. On this episode of The Eagle, he tells of a "warehouse on steroids," where hydrogen-powered forklifts, box-building robots and high-tech COVID-19 protocol…
 
Milton resident and adoptee Cindy Dort has spent half her life searching for biological family. But it has not resulted in the happy ending you'd see on TV shows like TLC's "Long Lost Family." Instead, hers is a rare case marked by twists, turns, dead ends, uncertainty and tragedy. On this episode of The Eagle: A Times Union Podcast, reporter Leigh…
 
The now-convicted NXIVM ringleader Keith Raniere is in federal prison, most likely for the rest of his life. High-ranking members of his inner circle still await sentence hearing dates. And a small faction of former members remain loyal to Raniere as he attempts to clear his name on appeal. The ongoing NXIVM saga is the focus of former VICE senior …
 
Who gets to make what food? When does cooking cross the line from culinary appreciation to appropriation of another culture's cuisine? On this episode of The Eagle, a diverse panel of chefs, restaurateurs and culture observers discuss this contentious issue, and how it affects the Capital Region food scene. Also on this episode, reporter Shrishti M…
 
What if Cain were on trial in a modern-day courtroom for the murder of his brother, Abel? Rabbi Dan Ornstein explores this biblical scenario and its implications in a new novel "Cain v. Abel: A Jewish Courtroom Drama." On this episode of The Eagle: A Times Union Podcast, we talk to the Albany-based Jewish leader and author about his book, and his t…
 
This episode contains explicit language and descriptions of events that may be upsetting to listeners. Please listen with care. It began with a clash in Albany's South End between civil rights protesters and police that resulted in damage to a police station, the use of pepper spray and injury to a protester. At midweek, the conviction of ex-Minnea…
 
This episode contains graphic depictions of events and explicit language. Please listen with care. When folks at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany were told they had a few dozen coronavirus vaccines at their disposal to use for their homeless clients, it was a race against time to get as many shots in arms as possible before the doses expir…
 
This episode contains graphic depictions of alleged sexual assault. Please take care while listening. The woman at the center of the most serious allegation of sexual misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo told her story this week to Times Union Capitol Bureau Managing Editor Brendan Lyons. She says she now sees the experience as an escalating sequen…
 
When Albany activist Kat Sullivan heard a satirical sea shanty about the ship that recently clogged the Suez Canal, she was inspired to try her hand at the trending musical genre. On a rainy Sunday morning, she set to work composing and filming her own shanty detailing the fallout from a whistleblower's complaint of potential safety hazards in the …
 
Activism in the Asian American Pacific Islander communities of the Capital Region gained a new sense of urgency this week in the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings that left eight dead, including six women of Asian descent. A rally in Albany brought out hundreds, some of whom had been empowered to use their voices for the first time to speak out ag…
 
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its annual Academy Award nominations each year, everyone in the Times Union newsroom and beyond turns immediately to features writer and movie buff C.J. Lais for his estimation of the nominees, and his educated prediction of the winners. On this episode of The Eagle, we'll hear his hot …
 
Exactly one year ago this week, the coronavirus pandemic changed the Capital Region as we knew it. Schools closed, events canceled, and businesses shuttered. People were told to stay home and social distance. The Times Union newsroom went virtual. Today, the region has endured immeasurable loss, with more than 1,000 dead from COVID-19. Yet as vacci…
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by three women during a press conference this week in Albany, offering an apology into the camera and admitting he was embarrassed by the circumstances in which he finds himself. A little less than a year ago, Cuomo's tough pandemic response sent his a…
 
Last week marked the 76th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Iwo Jima — a brutal, bloody fight that effectively ended the war in the Pacific in 1945. A small group of Capital Region veterans would've typically gathered to mark this anniversary at a café in Altamont, where they’d swap stories. This year the dwindling group, now in their mid-9…
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration is in hot water as an FBI investigation launches into its handling of nursing homes and long-term care facilities in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. Times Union Capitol Bureau Managing Editor Brendan Lyons broke the story of the investigation this week, and reporters Amanda Fries and Ed McKinley have be…
 
While Chinese communities in the Capital Region and around the world are welcoming the year of the Ox this week, the pandemic has complicated many elements of traditional Lunar New Year celebrations. Unable to travel to see family or host large gatherings, many say they are still celebrating on a smaller scale and staying home. On this episode of t…
 
For the last century, the city of Albany, New York, has been ruled by Democrats—a powerful political machine that came to power in 1921, and at times determined the fate of politics well beyond its borders. It is older and longer than many famous Democratic dynasties in bigger cities like Chicago and Boston. In 2021 however, Albany is a very differ…
 
When cases of Jonas Salk's revolutionary polio vaccine arrived at Albany International Airport in the spring of 1955, it was a cause for celebration. On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union reporter C.J. Lais takes a look back at the rollout of the polio inoculation in the Capital Region, and how it parallels that of the COVID-19 vaccine nearly 7…
 
We have a new president – and the first-ever female vice president. What comes next for the country, the state and the region? We'll soon find out. On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union Managing Editor of News Susan Mehalick says many New Yorkers are optimistic about the new administration in Washington. The inauguration also marked a first for…
 
More than seven million New Yorkers are now eligible to sign up to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Among those eligible are first responders, teachers and individuals aged 65 and over. Vaccine distribution centers are opening across the state this week. On this episode of The Eagle, Times Union Editor Casey Seiler leads a discussion that explores …
 
A day after a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, many New York lawmakers are calling for invoking the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump. At the same time, other New York lawmakers were among those who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win. On this episode of The Eagle Times Union Editor Casey Seiler discusses what unfol…
 
The year 2020 will go down in the history books as being a difficult one for many in the Capital Region. The pandemic affected nearly every aspect of life here in Upstate New York and beyond, and the future remain far from certain. On this episode of the Eagle, we'll take a look back at the Times Union's top stories of 2020. We'll also talk about t…
 
It's been almost 200 years since "A Visit from St. Nicholas" - better known today as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" - was published in the Troy Sentinel on Dec. 23, 1823. Columnist Joyce Bassett shares the curious, local history of the now-famous poem. Are meal and grocery delivery drivers clocking more miles than Santa? Table Hopping's Steve B…
 
Four years ago this week, the editorial board of the Times Union called on members of the Electoral College to vote for someone other than Donald J. Trump. The editorial — under the headline "Electors, reject Mr. Trump" — didn't call for that body to elect Democrat Hillary Clinton, but to consider a Republican alternative such as House Speaker Paul…
 
Albany teen Maliha Jackson wanted more than anything to attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the city this year. The pandemic, and her battle with end-stage kidney failure, made that difficult. But, not impossible. The Albany City School District and community members banded together to throw a surprise Christmas tree lighting just for the …
 
America's first Treasury Secretary-turned-Broadway musical star Alexander Hamilton was back in the spotlight recently, but not for a flattering reason. New historical research from the Schuyler State Historic Site provides compelling evidence that this "Ten-dollar founding father without a father," whom historian Ron Chernow called an "uncompromisi…
 
David Gordon runs the mobile lyricism program at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Capital Area. Over the summer, he bought a beat-up RV and converted it into a recording studio decked out with subwoofers, a soundproof recording booth and neon lights. Gordon’s goal was simple: to bring his lyricism program to the Capital Region kids who need it— part…
 
A New York court is considering this week whether an elephant can be considered a person by law. The argument involves Happy, the last remaining elephant at the Bronx Zoo, and whether she should be granted legal personhood—which would subject her to habeas corpus and allow for her removal to an elephant sanctuary. Reporter Robert Gavin has been fol…
 
Twelve-year-old Isla Besha can pick up a copy of J.K. Rowling's new book, The Ickabog, open it to a certain page, and find an illustration she had drawn on a whim while looking for something to do during the pandemic lockdown. The middle school student in East Greenbush was one of a handful of children in North America chosen to illustrate Rowling'…
 
Election Day has come and gone, and Times Union Capitol Bureau reporters Amanda Fries, Edward McKinley and Chris Bragg offer a debrief of state-level election surprises and as-yet undecided races. Also on this episode, reporter Massarah Mikati visits a refugee family living in Albany to learn about the unique challenges their eight children face as…
 
NXIVM leader Keith Raniere has been sentenced to 120 years in prison, doubling his lifetime and all but ensuring he will spend the rest of it behind bars. Times Union reporter Rob Gavin was in the federal courtroom for the sentencing this week, and recounts the experience and reaction from victims who gave powerful impact statements. Also on this e…
 
Almost 90 years ago, a valuable painting in Jewish newspaper publisher Rudolph Mosse's Berlin collection was stolen by Nazis, and disappeared. Last week, the FBI announced the painting had been recovered and returned to Mosse's heirs. It had been found at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, New York. Reporter Eduardo Medina covered the return of the …
 
India Oxenberg spent seven years of her life entrenched in the world of the shadowy organization known as NXIVM. She was a member of the secret female "master/slave" group run by Keith Raniere, and was branded with his initials. She left NXIVM in 2018 and returned to her mother, actress Catherine Oxenberg, who had led the charge to expose the crime…
 
Father Peter Young's life would make for a great movie. The Albany-based priest spent decades doing everything in his power to help men in the Capital Region suffering from alcoholism, addiction and homelessness get treatment and get their lives on track. Sometimes that meant taking a beating, emotionally and physically. Now 90 years old, the belov…
 
It has been nearly two years since the tragic limousine crash in Schoharie county that killed 20 people. This week, the National Transportation Safety Board finally released its long-awaited report on the crash, laying the blame for the crash on the limousine operator and the state, and placing blame for the delay in the report's release on the Sch…
 
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