Jonathon Norcross

Jonathon Norcross

Thursday, 01 February 2024 13:30

Bartolo Colón Honored by New York State Senate

ALBANY — The New York State Senate honored retired MLB pitcher Bartolo Colón last week. The resolution recognized Colón’s “outstanding career, significant contributions to the state of New York, and his role as a proud Dominican immigrant who brought glory and excitement to the sport.” Senator James Tedisco, who represents Saratoga County, co-sponsored the legislation and met with Colón.

Colón, nicknamed “Big Sexy,” played for nearly a dozen teams, including the New York Yankees and New York Mets. He was a four-time All-Star with a career WAR of 46.2 across 3,461 innings pitched.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — At a Board of Education Meeting on January 25, Dr. Michael Patton, Superintendent of Schools for the Saratoga Springs City School District, said that an ongoing independent review of the district’s athletic program should be completed “about a month or so from now.” The review is being led by Tracie Lopardi of the Harris Beach law firm. Lopardi and her partners have examined documents and conducted “many interviews,” according to Dr. Patton. 

The review stems from claims of “a toxic culture of alleged abusive coaching” in a legal complaint filed in October of last year. Girls varsity cross-country and indoor track coaches Art and Linda Kranick were at the center of the allegations. 1989 graduate Kristen (Gecewicz) Gunning said that the running program was “a toxic culture of control and abuse of middle and high school girls all in the name of winning.” 1999 graduate Lauren Hogan said that some aspects of the Kranicks’ program “caused immense damage to me both mentally and physically.” 

An updated version of the legal complaint from October 30 included more than a dozen witnesses who made various claims against the Saratoga Springs High School track program. The claims spanned from the 1980s to 2022.

Thursday, 01 February 2024 13:21

Ballston Spa Girls’ Wrestler Crowned Champion

SYRACUSE — Ballston Spa junior Mia Collins captured the New York State Girls’ Wrestling Invitational title last weekend in Syracuse. Collins won four matches in the tournament. Last month, she finished first in the Eastern States Girls’ Classic, and took home the Section 2 girls’ title.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Casino Hotel is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Upon opening on January 28, 2004, it became the first video gaming facility in New York. Since then, the facility has expanded to include table games, live entertainment, a steakhouse, and a 117-room hotel.

“We have been committed to providing exceptional entertainment experiences for our guests since we opened,” said Alex Tucker, Chief Operating Officer of Saratoga Casino Hotel, in a statement. “As we reflect on the past 20 years, I believe it’s this core mission that has made us successful. We are grateful to our guests, and we are proud to be one of many factors that make Saratoga Springs such a prosperous and thriving community,” said Tucker.

A study released by the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency said that the Saratoga Casino Hotel receives an average of 1.5 million visitors per year. The property hosts harness racing, concerts, and corporate events.

For more information on the 20-year anniversary celebrations, visit

SARATOGA SPRINGS — If you’re considering selling your home, now may be the time to do it. According to Lisa McTygue, a top realtor at Julie & Co. in Saratoga Springs, “from a seller’s standpoint, this time of year is really the best to get ahead of your competition.”

“Everyone waits until April or May, when their grass is greenest, to list,” McTygue said. But during the warmer months, “competition for a seller greatly increases because the inventory goes up.” For sellers, listing their homes in the offseason can be beneficial because there isn’t as much competition.

Of course, it’s been a seller’s market in Saratoga for some time now. Inventory is still low, at around 2.2 months’ supply, which according to McTygue, is up slightly compared to this time last year. But “a normal market for buyers and sellers is 6 months’ supply of inventory, so we are way below, and this has been going on for a few years,” McTygue said. 

All of this is good news for sellers, as is the steady increase of property values in Saratoga Springs. “I’ve been doing this almost 20 years, property values just keep going up and up,” McTygue said. “Saratoga County has been an insulated area as far as being protected on values and being a very strong market for sellers, time and time again.” 

But the market is far more complex for buyers. “As far as the market goes for buyers, it revolves around interest rates and inventory. So right now we have high interest rates and low inventory,” McTygue said.

So what’s a buyer to do given this scenario? Waiting for interest rates to decline may not be as advantageous as it first seems. “If you keep waiting, prices go up, inventory goes up,” McTygue said. “In my opinion, it boils down to what’s the perfect time for the buyer. Are you qualified now? Do you have the funds to do it now? Don’t wait. You can always refinance if the rates go down a couple percent down the road. Don’t wait, because renting is 100% interest. Owning a home, you’re building equity and you’re building your wealth.”

McTygue said that in April and May, there will likely be an increase in inventory, but nothing “drastic.” She hopes that interest traits will fall to under 6% by the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter. For buyers, the future might be a little brighter, but it’s still decidedly a seller’s market in Saratoga Springs.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Quad Graphics, a magazine printing company, is closing its Saratoga Springs facility by May 4 of this year, according to multiple reports. A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the New York State Department of Labor last Friday stated that all 406 employees at the site would be affected by the closure. Layoffs are expected to begin on March 2 and end by May 4, according to the notice.

Multiple local organizations issued responses to news of the facility’s closure. 

Phil Barrett, Saratoga County Chairman of the Board, said that “as the lowest taxed county in New York State, Saratoga County does everything possible at the local government level to maintain positive policies that keep the cost of doing business low here. The Saratoga County Department of Workforce Development will work to identify new career opportunities for displaced employees and the County will continue to work closely with Saratoga County Economic Development Corporation and our local Chamber of Commerce to attract new private sector business investments in Saratoga County.”

Greg Connors of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation said it was “a blow to lose the company as an employer, but we understand that industry conditions have changed, and Quad must adapt as they see fit. In the coming weeks, I will convene meetings with members of the business community and local elected officials to address with our partners the important issue of finding new opportunities in the Saratoga/Capital Region for the 450 displaced employees. I believe the future remains bright across many sectors in our local economy. SEDC is working doggedly to expand business in Saratoga County and bring new employers to our region.” 

The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce stated in an X post that “assisting those employees must be priority number one, and we are already hearing from area employers with job openings.” The post then linked to

As of press time, Quad Graphics had not responded to multiple requests for comment.

BALLSTON SPA — Are you ready to rock? At the January 17 Board of Education meeting, Ballston Spa High School Principal Matthew Robinson discussed upcoming courses that will be offered for the 2024-2025 school year, including one called History of Rock. The course, along with several others that resulted from conversations with teachers and students, is designed to achieve the school’s goal of delivering “a meaningful diploma for all students.”

According to Robinson, the music department will be offering a rock history course in which “students will study rock music through performance and composition.” Enrollees will be required to play the guitar, bass, and drums. Robinson said that the “fun, engaging” course could appeal to students who are interested in music but don’t want to participate in band, chorus, or orchestra.

As part of the school’s efforts to combat the decline in physical education participation that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PE department will offer Lifetime Yoga and Strength in Motion classes. In Lifetime Yoga, “students will learn the history of yoga, stances, poses, and the many aspects of yoga as a practice.” Students will also be expected to create and demonstrate their own yoga routines. The Strength in Motion course is “essentially a weightlifting course for athletes,” according to Robinson, but any student can participate if interested.

The English Language Arts department will be offering the senior elective Today’s Issues: Fiction and Nonfiction. Students will read and analyze current events and “actively participate in civic discourse,” according to Robinson. 

Additionally, the school will offer a CHS Intermediate Algebra course that will act as a college prep math course for students desirous of something more rigorous than Math Applications. Robinson also said that the 2024-2025 school year will be a pilot year for an Advanced Science designation.

Thursday, 25 January 2024 13:40

Skidmore Dining Team Wins Gold Medal

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Skidmore College dining team has won its eighth gold medal at the American Culinary Federation Conference and Competition. Nine teams, including Princeton University, Cornell University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, participated in the event. Chefs were required to prepare three-course menus and buffet platters using ingredients from a “market basket.” A panel of chefs judged the results.   

The competition will be the last for executive chef Jim Rose, who is retiring this year after nearly two decades at Skidmore. “Chef Rose is one of the driving forces behind organizing this event and in helping us train for it, so we’re really glad to have this win in his honor,” said Director of Dining Services Mark Miller in a statement. “I’m proud of our Skidmore team and this achievement. But it’s not just about winning — I’m proud of the work that we do and meals we serve every day to our students,” Miller said.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs varsity wrestling team was crowned Section 2 champions last Thursday, defeating Averill Park in the semifinals, and then Burnt Hills in the finals. The Blue Streaks will now head to Syracuse this weekend to compete in the dual meet state championships.

Coach Jake Zanetti said the title win was “not the type of thing you just flash-in-the-pan win randomly one year. That was a total program effort for years in the making; youth to modified to JV to varsity.” Zanetti credited assistant coach and youth head coach Brendon Polcare with developing young talent. “We’ve got solid coaching at every single level and the kids are taking advantage of it,” Zanetti said.

In the matchups against Averill Park and Burnt Hills, Zanetti said the team’s “studs did their job; they went out there and they took care of business.” In the first match of the night, Hayden Passaretti struggled early but came back in the final seconds to score a victory. Taylor Beaury, who was sidelined with an injury earlier this season, has been undefeated since returning to action. The Blue Streaks defeated Averill Park 50-10, and then beat Burnt Hills 40-26.

“I don’t think we knew we were going to win as much as we did, especially in the semifinals,” Zanetti said. “We really brought it against Averill Park and then just kind of kept the momentum going through the Burnt Hills match in the finals.” 

As the team prepares for its trip to Syracuse, a balance is being struck between having realistic expectations but also being ready to compete. “We’re not going to go in on a victory cruise, just happy to be there, just content to be there,” Zanetti said. “We want to go to compete, and we know we can hang with the best teams, but we’re not putting too much pressure on the boys.”

The dual meet state championships are on Saturday at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.

HUDSON FALLS — Schuylerville star Luke Sherman shattered his school’s all-time boys basketball scoring record with 22 points against Hudson Falls on Tuesday. With a long three-pointer in the third quarter, Sherman reached 1,318 points, surpassing Eric Stover’s 1,317-point record set in 1978. The Schuylerville Black Horses went on to win the game, 46 to 43.

The all-time scoring record for both boys and girls basketball stands at 1,566, set by Carol Cheney in 1986.

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  • Saratoga County Court Matthew J. Gifford, 31, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced to 5 days incarceration and 5 years probation, after pleading to felony DWI, charged February 2024 in Saratoga Springs.  Kevin P. Masterson, 52, of Mechanicville, was sentenced to 6-1/2 years incarceration / 5 years post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, charged May 2023.  Shawn Flores, 45, of Milton, pleaded to criminal contempt in the first-degree, charged February 2024. Sentencing July 30.  Nicholas F. Bonfante, 44, of Halfmoon, pleaded to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second-degree, a felony, charged…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 1 Aspen Drive to Sateeshnvss and Srividya Gudipaty for $549,980 Adesh Budhraj sold property at 1 Larkin Road to Katz Excavating and Construction LLC for $65,000 CORINTH William and Robert Morgan sold property at 677 County Route 25 to Christin Guilder for $285,000 GALWAY Rita Werner and Erin Forlenza sold property at 1064 West Galway Road to Karen Crandall for $145,000 GREENFIELD Desolation Ventures Inc. sold property at 498 Lake Desolation Road to MW Real Estate Enterprises, LLC for $680,000 Justin Kelsey sold property at 519 North Creek Road to Scott and David…
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