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      Winter storm gives some in Albany the day off

      Robin and Kate Walsh

      Some Albany residents braved the icy conditions and took advantage of some unexpected free time.

      Others played it safe and soaked up the luxuries of a warm home.

      For some, the winter weather meant some extra work.

      Many others, however, had some time to fill.

      "I'm good that we're not going to school so I don't have to do homework all day," said Kate Walsh.

      Kate Walsh is a student at Deerfield Windsor and her mother, Robin, teaches psychology at Troy University.

      Both institutions were closed today so it was a double dose of downtime.

      I've been playing Wii, playing on my computer, playing with my dogs.

      Mother and daughter decided against facing Mother Nature.

      But spending the day in close quarters with an excited seven-year-old poses its own challenges.

      "I'm supposed to be working online or I'm supposed to have had a longer conference call than I did," said Robin Walsh. "But we've been playing."

      Melba Green is also happy with the extra playtime and celebrated with a visit to Albany Mall.

      But it's avoiding a drafty school that matters most to her.

      "In our classroom, it's really, really cold because we don't have a lot of vents in our classroom," said Melba Green.

      People told us that one of the main reasons they came to the Albany Mall wasn't because of the stores â" it was that they knew the mall actually had power. With widespread outages, some shoppers were simply looking to stay warm.

      "Got up this morning, no electricity going in the house, heat out, everything out," said Deborah Green. "Trying to get warm so we came on out to the mall."

      Kristen Scholl's husband is a Marine stationed at MCLB Albany.

      "We live on the base so we haven't had electricity for about 3 and a half hours now so we're going to meet some other people here to eat lunch and get warm and hopefully, go home to electricity," said Scholl.

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