Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on December 30, 2022
Mayor Byron Brown and County Executive Mark Poloncarz are at odds over how the snow removal operations in Buffalo went after winter storm Elliott rolled through. Poloncarz said that the snow removal for the City of Buffalo was embarrassing storm after storm and year after year. Brown defended the city workers and their efforts and said he didn’t know what Poloncarz was talking about. Thursday night Poloncarz issued an apology for his comments saying his emotions got the better of him. According to reports, Poloncarz and Brown have not spoken since the complaints.
It’s been a week since the beginning of the storm that dumped over 4 feet of snow onto the City of Buffalo and it is just opening up again. Buffalo’s Commissioner of Public Works Nate Marton says this was a historic blizzard and the amount of snow and hurricane-force winds caused incredible snow drifts. Critics say that the city’s snow removal plan lacks blizzard preparations. The 50 page manual lacks the word blizzard anywhere. Marton says that is a special operation that can be added in but isn’t in the official plan. He said the major issue slowing down the snow removal was the wind which made it impossible for crews to see where they were removing snow. If you can’t see, it doesn’t matter what kind of equipment you have, it isn’t going anywhere.
Researchers at the University of Houston are saying that they have a vaccine in development that may be able to stop the fentanyl addiction rate in its tracks. The vaccine, according to a university release, can stop people from getting the euphoric high feeling from the drug. Tiny doses of Fentanyl can kill a person and most overdose deaths in the last few years have involved people taking the drug without knowing it as it was added to other drugs to increase their potency. The Drug Enforcement Administration says agents have taken over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder off the streets in 2022. The vaccine makes antibodies that bind to the fentanyl and purge it from the body via the kidneys and thus keeping it out of a person’s brain. Researchers say that this will be a big help in stopping relapses as well.
A new Empire State law provides reimbursement to living donors of a kidney or liver. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law on Thursday which will cover costs incurred by the giver. This will likely reduce delays to receive a transplant by removing financial issues from the decision. Currently, there are approximately nine-thousand New Yorkers on the waiting list for an organ.
The Bills are saying they didn’t ask for special treatment getting back home to Buffalo while residents still hadn’t been dug out of the several feet of snow. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has said that the bills asked for a police escort and plows to pave the way for their buses from Rochester to Orchard Park on Christmas Day. The team denies that they asked for or received any help from Erie County or the state police. New York State Police said they didn’t provide the Bills an escort home either, though a trooper did help lead buses from the airport to Interstate 490 at the request of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Meanwhile, the team announced Thursday a $300,000 donation, in partnership with the NFL Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, toward blizzard relief efforts in the Buffalo area.
On Thursday night team captain for the Buffalo Sabres Kyle Okposo scored his third career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings contributing to a win of 6 to 3. Jeff Skinner scored once and Casey Mittlestadt scored twice for the Sabres. Buffalo will hit the road for a Saturday afternoon contest against the Bruins. Puck drop is at 1 p.m. est.