Jonathon Norcross

Jonathon Norcross

BALLSTON SPA — At the Ballston Spa Central School District Board of Education meeting on February 7, Clerk of the Board and Records Access Officer Brian Sirianni delivered the 2025 Budget Development presentation, which focused, in part, on upcoming budgetary challenges faced by the transportation department. Sirianni listed several specific challenges, including fuel costs, electric buses, and the driver shortage.

Fuel Costs

“Fuel costs really got us a year ago and overdrew the budget significantly,” Sirianni said. This year, the district has a $380,000 budget for fuel but will likely end up spending more than $400,000. But Sirianni said that this year’s added expense is “nothing compared to where it was the year before, where we had budgeted $300,000 and it [cost] $462,000.” Sirianni said that relative to last year, the district was now “in good shape” with its fuel costs. He’s predicting that gas and diesel prices will stay about the same or decrease next year. “Hopefully that will play out,” Siriani said.

Electric Buses

Sirianni said that the state government does not have a specific plan to “fund the literally hundreds of millions of dollars that it’s going to take to pay for [electric buses].” Sirianni said the district would need to purchase around 80 zero-emissions buses, each of which will cost about $380,000. “We’re not a big school district,” he said. “Multiply that across the state; they can’t afford this.”

Sirianni said he hoped the issue would go away, but not because he doesn’t agree that carbon emissions need to be lowered. “It’s just nobody can afford this, and we’re being forced to buy buses that are going to be useless in a few years because they’re going to be out of date because the technology is changing so quickly,” he said.

Driver Shortage

Sirianni said that the district’s bus driver shortage issue was improving. “We hope that it will eventually go away in the next year or so, and we’ll be in a position to not have to call it a driver shortage anymore,” he said. “We’ll see.” 

Sirianni said that the district has been paying more to train drivers, employ substitute drivers, and recruit new drivers.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — If not for his time in Saratoga Springs, Anthony Weaver might’ve never made it to the NFL. 

Blaise Juliano, who would become Weaver’s high school football coach, heard that Weaver was a great athlete, and went to the junior high gym to recruit him into the football program. Juliano said he put his arm around Weaver and said, “Tony, I know you’re a great athlete and I know you love basketball, but I think you should consider football.” Weaver took Juliano up on the offer. “We laugh about it,” Juliano said. “That’s where you are today because I happened to go down and look [you] up in junior high.”

Weaver started playing football for the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks in 1995, when he was in 9th grade. The next year, he was brought up to the varsity team, where he played offensive guard. For the next three years, Weaver played for Coach Juliano. By the time he was a senior, he was being actively recruited by colleges with elite football programs. 

According to Juliano, Weaver weighed 238 pounds when he last played for Saratoga. The next game Weaver played, he was a starter for Notre Dame and weighed 255 pounds. “I thought that was pretty impressive,” Juliano said. After an accomplished college career at Notre Dame, Weaver was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft.

Weaver ended up playing in Baltimore for four years, then with the Houston Texans for another three years. During his playing career, he had 200 tackles, 15.5 sacks, and 57 assisted tackles. As his body began to wear down, “he decided to look into coaching and he gave me a call,” Juliano said. 

Weaver began his coaching career as defensive graduate assistant at the University of Florida, then had a stint at the University of North Texas before heading back to the NFL. In 2012, he became the New York Jets’ assistant defensive line coach. He then became defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans before going back to Baltimore, where in 2022, he was promoted to assistant head coach. 

Weaver soon attracted attention from teams around the league, and in January of 2024, he interviewed with both the Atlanta Falcons and the Washington Commanders for their vacant head coaching positions. Ultimately, he ended up being hired by the Miami Dolphins as the team’s new defensive coordinator. 

Juliano said he thinks Weaver will make a great NFL head coach one day. In the meantime, Weaver continues to stay in touch with his Saratoga mentors. “When he comes back to Saratoga, he’ll go and visit his elementary teacher and see all of his friends,” Juliano said. “He and I are on a very close basis, and I consider him more family than just a former player.”

“When I received the Head Football Coach position at Saratoga, he was the first to text me and congratulate me,” current Saratoga Springs varsity football coach Eric Hayden told Saratoga TODAY. “Anthony is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. His Athletic achievements are amazing, but his personality is what separates him.”

Juliano echoed the sentiment. “One of the biggest qualities that you notice about him is his adaptability to people and his love for people,” Juliano said. “He’s really a great person.”

Weaver was inducted into the Saratoga Springs Blue Streak Hall of Fame in 2010. His entry on the Hall of Fame website states that Weaver “has offered financial support to the football program and reached out to needy children in the community.”

“We hold an annual youth football clinic in Saratoga and he will come and see all the kids,” Hayden said. “One year he couldn’t make the clinic, so he sent a bunch of prizes and autographed material for us coaches to give out to kids who were working hard.  He even sent a video to say hello to us all.”

Although Saratoga football fans may be fiercely loyal to the New York Giants or Buffalo Bills, Hayden said they’ll now “have a reason to turn on Dolphins games.”

Thursday, 15 February 2024 13:40

Local Pitcher Traded to Dodgers

Just one week after being picked up by the New York Yankees, upstate New York native Matt Gage has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson. The Dodgers also received 19-year-old prospect Christian Zazueta as part of the trade deal. The Yankees were in search of a bullpen southpaw following the departure of Wandy Peralta to the San Diego Padres.

Gage is an upstate New York native who attended Broadalbin-Perth High School. He pitched for Siena College before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants. Gage has pitched for both the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays for a combined 19.2 innings and 1.83 ERA.

Thursday, 15 February 2024 13:40

Belmont Receives 36K Pre-Sale Registrations

SARATOGA SPRINGS — According to New York Racing Association VP of Communications Patrick McKenna, more than 36,000 people have signed up for pre-sale registration for the upcoming Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. 

Emails sent out Monday morning to registrants said that pre-sale would last from noon until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14.

Tickets are on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, February 15 at Daily attendance will be limited to 50,000.

Thursday, 15 February 2024 13:26

Skidmore Baseball Team Names Captains

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Skidmore College Thoroughbreds baseball team announced last week its captains for the upcoming season: outfielder Jaden Torrado, lefty pitcher Ameer Hasan, and catcher/infielder Trey Bourque. The team also held its 2024 media day three days prior.

Last year, catcher Jackson Hornung became the first Skidmore athlete to be drafted by a professional team when he was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round of the MLB Draft.

Thursday, 15 February 2024 13:25

Belmont Receives 36K Pre-Sale Registrations

SARATOGA SPRINGS — According to New York Racing Association VP of Communications Patrick McKenna, more than 36,000 people have signed up for pre-sale registration for the upcoming Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. 

Emails sent out Monday morning to registrants said that pre-sale would last from noon until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14.

Tickets are on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, February 15 at Daily attendance will be limited to 50,000.

Thursday, 15 February 2024 13:24

Saratoga Fire Hockey Team Plays Benefit Games

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last week, the Saratoga Springs Professional Firefighters hockey team played against the Troy Firefighters IAFF Local 86 in a benefit game to raise funds for the family of Schenectady Fire Department Lieutenant Mark Barkyoumb. According to Saratoga firefighter Chris Stewart, over $15,000 was raised for Barkyoumb’s family. The Saratoga and Troy hockey teams will face off again on March 21 at the Weibel Ice Rink at 6 p.m.

Barkyoumb passed away unexpectedly last month while off duty. He was 38 years old, and a married father of four. Barkyoumb most recently served as the Lieutenant of Rescue One on the 2nd Platoon of the Schenectady Fire Department.

Three players on the Saratoga Fire hockey team worked with Barkyoumb as members of the Schenectady Fire Department.

Wednesday, 07 February 2024 15:13

X-Files Museum Offering Live Virtual Tours

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The X-Files Preservation Collection announced last Friday that it will now offer live, guided virtual tours for those unable to visit the museum in person. The tours will be hosted on Zoom, last for one hour, and cost $25. 

According to the museum’s website, virtual tours are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once connected via Zoom, a guide will provide an interactive tour of the museum, in which virtual visitors will be able to ask questions and direct the guide around the exhibits. 

For more details, or to purchase tickets, visit

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Phinney Design Group has purchased the neoclassical stone building at 1 Franklin Square in downtown Saratoga Springs. The structure, built in the 1830s, will serve as the company’s construction management office, according to Cira Masters, Phinney’s Director of Marketing & Business Development. 

Phinney’s primary office is located in the Beekman Street Arts District. The company also opened a location in Lake Placid last month. Phinney hopes to have its new office at 1 Franklin Square opened by March. 

COLONIE — At the grand opening of the Legacy Dispensary in Colonie last Friday, company founder & CEO Matthew Robinson said the process of launching his business had been a long and difficult road. “Been through a lot,” Robinson said. “Now, we’re past it. We’re in a new stage.”

Robinson tried to hold back tears as he thanked his family for their support. “My family is there for everything,” he said. “I could call anybody, any time of night and they’re going to come. I thank them for that.”

Legacy is the latest in a series of cannabis dispensaries opening up across the Capital Region. Among the organizations represented at the dispensary’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. 

“Matt, hearing your story, it’s so inspirational of what you did to get here today,” said Andrea Cole, the chamber’s Vice President of Events & Marketing. “I definitely think your tribulations that you’ve gone through, the hardship that you’ve gone through, really have paid off for you to open up this amazing space.”

Robinson is a member of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “We’re visible and vocal for our members,” Cole said. “So if it’s down here in Albany County, or Schenectady County, or Saratoga County, we’re always going to be there for support.”

Saratoga Springs itself is poised to open three cannabis dispensaries, a fact highlighted by Mayor John Safford in his 2024 State of the City Address last week. The budding businesses are expected to open shop at 75 Weibel Ave, 95 West Ave, and 1 Kaydeross Avenue West.

Page 10 of 22


  • Todd A. Axton, 61, of Ballston, was sentenced to 8 months incarceration in the Saratoga County Correctional Facility, after pleading to aggravated criminal contempt, a felony, charged October 2022.  Lewis Labshere, 34, of Schenectady, was sentenced to 1-1/2 to 3 years incarceration in a state correctional facility after pleading to criminal contempt in the first-degree, charged February 2024 in Galway.  Jay A, Sherman, 35, of South Glens Falls, was sentenced to time served and 5 years of probation, after pleading to felony DWI, charged August 2023 in Moreau.  Hasan A. Stubbs, 26, of Ballston Spa, pleaded to grand larceny in…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Brandon Acres sold property at 6 Nolan Rd to Tyler Makarowsky for $273,980 Traditional Homebuilders and Developers sold property at 55 Mallory Way to William Denton for $596,030 Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 13 Basswood Ct to Chen Zhang for $539,980 CHARLTON Kimberleigh Whittaker sold property at 717 Swaggertown Rd to Michael Richards for $262,000 Benjamin Lounsbery sold property at 206 Sweetman Rd to Andrew Dunn for $307,500 CORINTH Dale Dayton sold property at 407 Walnut St to Alexander Wolf for $250,000 Eleanor Mullaney sold property at 541 Main St to 1010 19th Street LLC for $100,000 GALWAY…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Discover Saratoga
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association