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Saratoga Casino to take part in bidders conference despite lack of support

SARATOGA SPRINGS - If you believe Saratoga is in fact the "graveyard of favorites," there appears to be a new upset to add to the famed list.

The successful Saratoga Casino and Raceway, which has churned out millions and millions of dollars for the state since it opened a decade ago, was considered the favorite for a full-fledged casino in the Capital Region. It had the track record, location and facility to make it the front runner.

But it didn't have support of the community.

It's that deficiency that appears to make the casino an also ran before the race begins.

Popular Glens Falls business reopens 9 months after fire

GLENS FALLS - The Bullpen Tavern was heavily damaged by fire on June 8, 2013. Now it has reopened just in time for the state high school basketball tournament.

Fire broke out at around 2:30 in the morning in a third floor apartment. A tenant was smoking while using supplemental oxygen.

Police and firefighters had to rescue people from their apartments.

"It was a pretty awful night, it was a pretty harrowing experience," said Paul Bricoccoli.

Everyone made it out safely, but the building, which had the popular Bullpen Tavern on the first floor was heavily damaged.

But that was nine months ago, and now the business has re-opened.

Just a few cosmetic touches were being added Friday afternoon.

But the bulk of the work is done.

There's a new kitchen where nine months ago, water was waist deep.

Staples to close 225 stores as sales move online

Staples has become the second major chain to announce the mass closing of stores this week, providing the latest evidence of how the retail landscape is being remade by shifts in American shopping habits.

The nation's largest office-supply company said Thursday that nearly half of its sales are now generated online, and it is working aggressively to cut costs and become more efficient. It aims to close more than 10 percent of its North American stores by the end of next year, up to 225 stores, as part of a plan to save about $500 million.

Staples Chairman and CEO Ron Sargent said his company's stores have fallen short of expectations over the past three years, and the company launched a plan last year to "fundamentally reinvent" Staples.

Cold weather hurting maple syrup season

Many people are waiting for the weather to get warmer, but some in the maple syrup industry say the prolonged cold is killing their season.

Normally, it’s time for producers to start collecting sap, but in many cases the trees are still frozen and can’t even be tapped.

Even if the taps are in, the sap doesn’t run if the temperature stays below freezing all day.

Ideal conditions are above freezing temperatures during the day and below freezing at night.

Once the sap starts flowing, it takes about 50 gallons to make one gallon of maple syrup.  

Projects up in the air after construction company suddenly shutters

ALBANY - A construction company has suddenly gone out of business in the middle of several high-profile projects.

Eastern Building Group, also known as Eastern Building and Restoration, a contractor based on Commerce Avenue told its employees Friday afternoon that they wouldn't be needed Monday.

According to a source, the sudden move leaves as many as six uncompleted projects that Eastern was working on, including the renovation of the Saratoga Springs Police Department headquarters in the basement of City Hall.

Eastern was just 10 days into that project on Friday afternoon when they suddenly let the city know they wouldn't be back.

The company had begun demolition of the police locker room and training room. Those areas remain torn apart as the city tries to figure out what to do now. Sarah Burger, the city attorney, says Eastern's withdrawal "brings the project to a standstill."

Saratoga Springs discusses earlier last call again

 Saratoga Springs discusses earlier last call again

SARATOGA SPRINGS - There's a reason there's a big supply of kegs rolling into Caroline Street bars and restaurants on a Tuesday afternoon.

People come from all over the region to party in Saratoga.

And the party can legally last until 4 in the morning.

"The four o'clock hour is just too late," said Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen who says it's time to move last call to 3 a.m.

"We want a reasonable solution here and I think three o'clock is a reasonable solution to tone things down, to get people off the streets a little bit sooner."

If this argument sounds familiar, it is. For the past five or six years, some on the City Council have been pushing for an earlier closing time.

Great Escape adds first new attraction since 2009

Extreme Supernova is a pendulum ride like the classic pirate ship ride. - The Post Star

QUEENSBURY – The Great Escape has a new thrill ride, straight from Coney Island.

NewsChannel 13’s media partners at The Post-Star report that the Extreme Supernova arrived at the park in two tractor-trailers and a flatbed truck.

The dry-land ride is the park’s first new attraction since the Sasquatch in 2009.

It’s due to be installed and operational by May 23.

Three local companies will assemble the pieces near the Comet rollercoaster at the back of the park.

Extreme Supernova is a pendulum ride like the classic pirate ship ride. Park officials say the ride car of the Supernova spins as it swings resulting in "extreme dizziness."

The park says the ride will replace the pirate ship that was installed in 1982.