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High winds rock WNY, Downstate nurses coming to help upstate Covid surge, Cannabis opt-out in NY, Counties say NO to upcoming mask mandate, and NYC soccer wins national championship

Nearly 100,000 without power after wind storm hits Western New York

Governor Hochul was in Hamburg today providing a briefing on the storm damage and state of emergency in place.

High winds wrought havoc all over the region last night, leaving many without power in subzero temperatures. From the massive lake surge in Buffalo and Niagara waterfront, to the horse barn that was blown over next door, one of the fiercest wind storms in memory. In general, the closer to the Great Lakes the stronger the winds and destruction. Near Batavia, winds exceeded 75 MPH and the Skyway south of Buffalo was closed to vehicle traffic.

Scio NY resident Josh Wagoner reported many electrical lines down in the sleepy hamlet and recalls one big fall. This is all he could see from his window:

“I didn’t even want to go out there. It was dangerous and I saw it happen so I called 911 before the neighbors even knew what happened.”

Homeland security officials announced that they have deployed warming centers throughout the hardest hit areas. Unseasonably warm weather is predicted for the early part of the week sparing providing both residents and first responders additional misery. View a gallery of the damage from WKBW:

https://www.wkbw.com/homepage-gallery/photo-gallery-wind-damage-across-wny


In an effort to support upstate hospitals being overwhelmed with a Covid-19 infection wave, down state nurses are arriving for a two week ‘tour of duty.’ The reinforcements will be headed to the Erie County Medical Center and Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital.

During the virus surges in New York City during the early part of the pandemic, many upstate medical professionals traveled downstate to relieve the burden.

Nearly 1/3 of NY municipalities opt-out of cannabis

As the deadline for opting out of the emerging retail cannabis market approaches, about thirty percent of New York municipalities have voted to prohibit sales and consumption businesses. Those towns, villages, and small cities have been coined, “bud blockers,” with rural counties having a slightly higher rate of legal prohibition. No major cities in the state have chosen to opt out.

In Wellsville and Allegany County, the Village of Wellsville has voted to opt-out, while the Town of Wellsville has rejected prohibition. Bolivar, Andover, and Scio have joined the town of Wellsville in embracing the new market. Amity, Angelica, and Alma all have or appear to be going the ‘opt-out’ route. Read more about the new age of prohibition in the Empire State:

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/watertown/news/2021/12/11/bud-blockers–over-400-ny-localities-say–no–to-pot-sales


NY Counties refuse to enforce mask mandate

In a predictable reaction to the NYS indoor mask mandate set to being Monday 12/13, several upstate NY counties are refusing to enforce the order. At least four counties have announced they will not enforce the mandate, including Niagara county. Many county executives have voiced concern over diverting health department resources for enforcement when testing and vaccination is the priority.

https://abc7ny.com/new-york-mask-mandate-republican-county-executives-wont-enforce/11324708/


NY Wins Major League Soccer Championship

New York City FC have won their first-ever MLS Cup title, stunning the Portland Timbers in penalty kicks in Saturday’s MLS Cup Final at Providence Park, prevailing 4-2 in the decisive shootout after the match finished in a 1-1 deadlock through regulation and extra time.”

Read the whole scoop:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/2021-mls-cup-recap-portland-timbers-vs-new-york-city-fc

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