People

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Families answer call to help Puerto Rico

By Kristin Schultz Gazette Reporter NISKAYUNA — A call to action for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico has spurred acts of generosity by area residents. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Albany-based Citizen Action put out a call…



EJR and CHR in Weimar 2015

Niskayuna author releases 5th book

Kristin Schultz Daily Gazette SCHENECTADY — Ahead of the September release of her fifth book, “Survivor Cafe,” best-selling author Elizabeth Rosner will visit the central branch of the Schenectady County Library. The Berkeley, California resident grew up in Niskayuna. Her…


Photo Kristin Schultz
Dick Horstman, 89, of Jonesville crossed the first Rexford Bridge in a horse-drawn wagon driven by his grandfather in the early 1930s.

Over the river and up the hill

Jonesville’s Dick Horstman, 89, recalls horse-and-buggy hay runs to Niskayuna over original Rexford span   By Kristin Schultz Gazette Reporter When time marches on, it often leaves people’s memories in the dust. Not so for Dick Horstman. Time has seen…


Photo Kristin Schultz
Isabella Smarro collected donations of stuffed animals to distribute to local charities in honor of her grandmother.

Teen’s teddy bear drive a pick-me-up for others

Kristin Schultz Daily Gazette It’s hard to lose someone you love, so when Isabella Smarro’s grandmother passed away, she wanted to do something to help others and honor her nana’s memory. “Nana loved stuffed teddy bears,” said Smarro. “You walked…



Photo Kristin Schultz
Isabella Sementilli doesn't let a debilitating headache disorder keep her down. She bakes and sells cookies at her family's restaurant, Scotti's, and donates the proceeds to brain injury and anti-bullying causes.

Teen turns chronic pain into a mission

BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ Gazette Reporter SCHENECTADY — Isabella Sementilli looks just fine. She is a petite, dark-haired 14-year-old girl with a bright, beaming smile. Silver bracelets jingle on her wrist. She loves Nancy Drew mystery novels. Isabella Sementilli looks just…


Photo Kristin Schultz
Erik Augspurger has spent the last four years volunteering with Niskayuna Fire District 2. He hopes to enter medical school in the fall.

Next stop: med school

BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ Gazette Reporter NISKAYUNA — With a plate this full, you’d think Erik Augspurger would be pursuing a culinary degree, but this Niskayuna High School graduate has his sights set on medical school and a career in sports…


PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian in his office at the Federal Court House in Albany Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Hartunian joins national legal and consulting firm

By Kristin Schultz Gazette Reporter Newly retired United States Attorney Richard Hartunian will enter private practice with national legal and consulting firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. The firm has offices around the country but Hartunian will work out of…


Photo courtesy Tom Swyers  Niskayuna resident Tom Swyers wrote his second novel, The Killdeer Connection, a legal thriller set in the Capital Region and North Dakota.

Swyers writes legal thriller for 2nd book

By Kristin Schultz Gazette Reporter   NISKAYUNA – The local author who caused a stir with his first book, “Saving Babe Ruth,” is back with a second novel, this time a legal thriller called “The Killdeer Connection.” As a lawyer…