Jonathon Norcross

Jonathon Norcross

Thursday, 21 December 2023 12:08

Adirondack Trust Awards $84K to Nonprofits

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund (ATCCF) awarded $84,070 in grants to 38 local nonprofits this month.

Some of the Lend-A-Hand Grant recipients included A Dapple a Day Equine Center, Camp Abilities Saratoga, Family Services Association of Glens Falls, First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa Summer Lunch Program, and Shelters of Saratoga.

“The awarded grants will support programs for a wide variety of needs as a whole, and will include the areas of the arts, education, health, and family activities,” said Colleen Carlson, Volunteer Chair for the ATCCF Independent Advisory Committee. “Thank you to the organizations, volunteers, and donors who provide support, time, and hard work throughout the year,” Carlson said. “We are honored to be a part of this process.” 

SARATOGA SPRINGS —A new Chipotle location in downtown Saratoga is one step closer to becoming reality.

The Saratoga Springs Planning Board approved Chipotle’s site plan review application on November 30 after considering the proposal for several months. The board will decide upon issuing a building permit after an easement is filed.

The planned Chipotle at 12 Ballston Avenue will be located next to the Saratoga Strike Zone bowling alley. The site was formerly the home of Paddy Duggan's Irish Pub.

The location will include an outdoor patio with around 20 seats, in addition to a small outdoor seating area with benches and planters. 23 parking spaces will be created on the .32 acre site.

SCHUYLERVILLE — All nine of the Schuylerville Central School District’s fall sports teams have been recognized by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for their academic success. To earn recognition, a team’s average GPA for 75% of the roster must be 90 or above. The following teams met this criteria for academic success:

  • Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Cross Country
  • Fall Cheer
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Soccer
  • Volleyball

BALLSTON SPA — Passer la nuit à danser! That’s a rough French translation for “dance the night away,” which is what more than 150 high school students did at the Ballston Spa world language lip sync concert earlier this month.

Performances included the Barbie movie’s hit anthem “Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa (in French), “Cruising for a Bruisin” from “Teen Beach Movie” (in Spanish), and Queen’s iconic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” (also in Spanish). Barbie finished in first place. One can only speculate that the Kenergy must’ve been surging.

The event was hosted by the Ballston High School International Club. All donations from the concert will help fund scholarships for graduating seniors.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last season, the Saratoga varsity wrestling team struggled to overcome Burnt Hills and Ballston Spa. This year, the Blue Streaks have already beaten them both, and are in the conversation for one of the best teams in Section 2. 

The success has come in the midst of a new weight descent plan rule that has altered coaches’ strategies. “The new descent plan thing is really interesting because it kind of ties coaches’ hands on how strategic they can get going into the dual meets,” said Saratoga wrestling coach Jake Zanetti. “Everybody is impacted by that.”

The rule is a bit complicated. “They’re only allowed to lose 1.5% of their body fat each week of the season,” Zanetti explained. “So even if a kid is actually weighing the weight class, if his individual descent plan doesn’t allow him to be eligible for that, even though he’s legitimately weighing it, he can’t wrestle it.”

Despite the curveball, the Blue Streaks have already garnered nearly a dozen victories about a third of the way through the season. One tough matchup that saw Saratoga lose a criteria tiebreaker came against Queensbury earlier this month. The Blue Streaks were tied with Queensbury 30 to 30, but were credited with a loss because their opponents won one more individual match. 

“Queensbury kind of came out of nowhere,” Zanetti said. “They’re looking at the number one seed going into the Section 2 duals.”

The next time the two teams meet, Saratoga may have an ace up its sleeve with the return of standout Taylor Beaury, who has been sidelined with injuries. Beaury met with doctors this week to determine a timeline for his return.

As Zanetti awaits word on Beaury’s health, the Blue Streaks have two challenging tournaments ahead of them. The Windsor Christmas Tournament begins December 28, and the Saratoga Invitational starts January 6.

“January is going to be a long grinder,” Zanetti said. But the Blue Streaks are used to that. They were “grinding all summer long, all offseason,” Zanetti said. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The trendiest sport in America right now is pickleball, and the Saratoga region is paddling furiously to keep up with demand.

“We’ve been watching the sport grow like crazy in Saratoga Springs,” said Brandon Mackie, co-founder of the Pickleheads website. “We’re seeing new courts being built all over. East Side Rec Field now has 10 dedicated courts and Wilton Town Gavin Park has 10.” Mackie also said that searches for pickleball in the Saratoga area have increased 213% since April.

A number of regional locations are now hosting pickleball games, including the Saratoga Recreation Center, the Saratoga Regional YMCA, McGregor Links Country Club, The Paddocks of Saratoga, and the Burgess Kimball Memorial Park.The Malta YMCA branch hosted its first pickleball tournament earlier this year, and a Legacy Pickleball Club location is set to open soon in Ballston Spa.

But how exactly does one explain the public’s voracious appetite for this sport? “The most important thing that happened at the [recreational] player level is that the sport is really easy to learn,” Mackie said. “Our theory is that COVID was an important catalyst for this.”

According to Mackie, COVID turned the primarily indoor sport of pickleball into an outdoor game played at gyms, churches, and recreation centers. “I think we’ve just seen a snowballing of it over the last year,” Mackie said. “So now, depending on what data you believe, between ten and forty million players have tried the sport.”

According to Pickleheads, pickleball has seen a 158.6% growth rate over the last three years and has become “the fastest-growing sport in America.” There are now around 400 places to play pickleball in New York State, with dozens scattered throughout the Saratoga region.

To learn more about pickleball or to find a court, visit

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Casino Hotel announced $120,000 in donations on Wednesday in the Vapor night club. 

The money was split evenly between twelve organizations, including Albany Medical Health System – Saratoga Hospital, Franklin Community Center, SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children), and Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar.

“It’s an honor to give back to these wonderful organizations in this community,” said Vice President of External Affairs Skip Carlson in a statement. “We’ve been hosting this event for 19 years now, and it’s so heartwarming to hear each year how these organizations are truly making a difference in the lives of so many.”

Thursday, 07 December 2023 13:42

Sweet Mimi’s Celebrates 10 Years

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sweet Mimi’s Cafe & Bakery celebrated its 10th year in business with a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 24. 

Mayor Ron Kim attended the event and issued a Sweet Mimi’s Day proclamation.

The popular brunch spot was opened by Jeannette Liebers in 2013 at 47 Phila Street. In 2021, Liebers was featured in an episode of the cooking competition show “Beat Bobby Flay,” in which she faced off against the famed chef and frequent Saratoga visitor.

For more about Sweet Mimi’s Cafe & Bakery, their menu, specials and more visit

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new cafe and corner market is set to open in downtown Saratoga Springs early next year, according to owner Stephen Mittler. The establishment will replace the closed Tailgate and Party shop at 33 Phila St.

The market will serve “the best breakfast sandwiches in town, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups, salads, soups, and a solid selection of grab and go craving solutions,” said Mittler in a Facebook post announcement. Convenience store items and candy will also be for sale.

The cafe portion of the business will feature an appetizer-only menu, along with alcoholic beverages.

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  • Saratoga County Court  Sara N. Babinski, 35, of Schuylerville, was sentenced to 3 months incarceration/ 5 years probation, after pleading to felony DWAI, charged January 2024 in Saratoga Springs.  Thomas R. McCall, 35, of Rensselaer, pleaded to criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, in connection with a March 2024 incident in Saratoga Springs, when city police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle on South Broadway and located a Magnum .357 revolver with ammunition underneath the driver’s seat, according to a statement by Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen. Further investigation determined that the firearm belonged to the defendant,…

Property Transactions

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