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 John Kucko: Little Mill Creek in Wayland, NY

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Covid-19 vaccine death called “anomaly,” Two Erie county towns may secede, Catskills snowmobile brawl, Infestation in the Adirondacks, Pizza Hut returns, and redistricting NY is a mess

A rare death attributed to the Covid-19 vaccine

After receiving his second Pfizer vaccine, George Watts Jr., passed away after a side effect called myocarditis, or inflation of the heart in Lockwood NY. The condition is an extremely rare side-effect of MRNA vaccines, afflicting about 50 people per 1 Million, or .0005% of those receiving the vaccine. The condition seems to impact males under the age of thirty most commonly. Myocarditis is a common symptom of Covid-19 as well. The full sad story on Mr. Watts Jr.:

Marilla and Wales to explore leaving Erie County

The talk of upstate NY separating from downstate and forming 51st state has been bandied about for decades now. Recently the discussion of secession has begun among some towns in Erie County south of the Buffalo metro area. Marilla and Wales are joining forces to start exploring the option of joining neighboring Wyoming county. Former longtime Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is one of the leading advocates for exploring the option. Howard contends the idea isn’t borne from his former career as county sheriff, but larger issues like agriculture and rural lifestyle. The former sheriff has been an outspoken critic of the Erie County indoor mask mandate and county leader Mark Poloncarz, who cautioned against the possible secession. Read more from WIVB:

Snowmobile Gunfight in Greene County

NYS Troopers were called to rural neighborhood in Palenville after receiving calls that shots were fired and henchmen on snowmobiles attacked with baseball bats. A large group fight apparently broke out at among the residents and the snowmobilers who appear to have been on the offensive. According to Troopers, they are not sure if anyone was shot because many of those involved escaped the scene. Read more on the skirmish:

What is the hemlock woolly adelgid ?

A beetle feasts on the white woolly adelgids

Another little bug has emerged in the upstate forests, a tiny aphid that attacks the Eastern Hemlock Tree. The bug pictured below, is another example of the invasive species which continue to threaten woodlots in NY, particularly in the massive Adirondack State Park. The little woolly pests threaten some of the last old growth stands of hemlock in the park, also referred to as the “redwood of the east.” The Department of Environmental Conservation(DEC) has already started focused experiments releasing predatory beetles into infected hemlock stands. Read more about the Hemlock Initiative

Pizza Hut planning a return to the Southern Tier

One of the most recognizable brand names in American cuisine was a staple in Wellsville before closed the Main Street location in 2016. In 2020, most of the remaining Pizza Hut restaurants in the region closed. Last week, whispers started about a rebirth of the place that brought us “Personal Pan Pizza,” and “Stuffed-crust pizza.” This week the news is official, Pizza Hut plans to open a brand new location in Elmira NY. Considering the former Stillwater Restaurant is vacant, perhaps Pizza Hut will consider moving back to Wellsville ? Read more:

Redistricting disaster

The political committee that is charged with drawing new congressional districts continues to devolve, now lawsuits demand that the current redistricting effort be tossed out. A group of NY Republicans, with an Elmira law firm on point, have demanded that NYS courts take up the matter, and immediately. Political futures hang in the balance as candidates wait for the redistricting process to be complete. For example, those who wish to run for current Congressman Tom Reed’s seat, have no idea if they will still reside in the current district. To add to the angst, candidates have just over three weeks to file election paperwork. Read the full story from WETM:

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