There are just 15 days remaining in the year, or just a little over two weeks before we enter the year 2023. Normally, the final two weeks of the year are relatively quiet, but for some reason, this year's 50th week of the total 52 is filled with big ugly, snowy news. Some of the news is also sad and heartbreaking.

There have been fatalities where families will be forced to spend the what is supposed to be a happy family time dealing with grief. This week, we lost 30-year-old Martha Staring of Sauquoit (formerly of Little Falls). Right now, no one knows how she was seriously injured and found lying in the road just about 45 minutes after leaving a hockey game in her boyfriend's truck. Police are continuing their investigation as they await the autopsy results. A GoFund Me page set a goal of $20,000 to go to the family for expenses incurred by the tragedy. So far, more than $43,000 has been raised.

This week there were two restaurant fires in New Hartford. One at the popular Mangia Macrina which happened after hours and the owners posted on Facebook that they believe the fire was suspicious. The other fire happened on Tuesday night at the former Zebb's restaurant. The cause of both fires is under investigation.

Tuesday night's regular Utica School Board Meeting was more than eventful for this time of year. Superintendent Bruce Karam is suing four board members and the Acting Superintendent over the fact that he's being accused by two district administrators of creating a hostile work environment. He's angry because he's getting paid and he's not allowed to go to work. This sounds like a gift to me, but I really cherish vacation. Karam has three minority board members supporting him, including Utica Mayoral candidate Bob Cardillo. The other four board members and the angry group of teachers and parents seem to be just fine with Karam's administrative leave. We'll see what happens with this one in 2023.

More than a foot of snow is expected as part of a classic nor'easter expected to spank the region on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I know we all want a white Christmas, but dangerous weather like this makes it difficult for family members to make their way home. The Winter Storm Warning starts on Thursday and expires on Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

This week, we also learned that SUNY Poly is in danger of having it's College of Nanoscale   Science and Engineering removed from its Marcy campus, and moved to SUNY Albany where the other half of the program is currently operating. This is a terrible move for the area, especially as rumors swirl about a new chip fab plant said to be considering the Marcy campus.

There are plenty more negative stories where these came from and to be fair, there are also plenty of positive news articles, as well. Still, for a week that's supposed to be about shopping, holiday parties and gifting, there sure seems to be a lot of negative tension out there.

Let's hope this busy news week is just 2022 getting the negative out of its system. I'm all for a quiet start to 2023 and hoping the next 15 days is quiet and simply filled with too many episodes of It's a Wonderful Life.

Utica's NEXUS Center Preparing for Grand Opening

With hockey tournaments on the schedule in just a matter of hours, workers scramble to prep Utica's new NEXUS Center for its opening on November 9th.

Two Edmeston Women Arrested After Pets Allegedly Left in Trailer

On July 2, 2022 New York State Police arrested two Edmeston (Otsego County) women after several dogs and cats, many of whom need medical care, were allegedly left in a trailer. The Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown is assisting with assessment, veterinary care, and possible rehabilitation of the pets. 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: There are pictures in this gallery that might be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.]

33 Photos: Utica's Blues Legend Joe Bonamassa Plays Landmark in Syracuse

Arguably one of the world's greatest guitarists, Joe Bonamassa played the Syracuse Landmark Theatre on March 11, 2022. Bonamassa, who grew up in Utica, NY, as Smokin' Joe Bonamassa played in Syracuse, one of his hometown cities. The show was amazing and here are 33 great photos that actually pale in comparison to the amazing sound that came out of the speakers via the guitar of Joe Bonamassa and his amazing band.

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