Welcome to Thursday, CivMixers! We have made it through another beautiful day, and I hope everyone is enjoying the more excellent weather.

Tomorrow is another Friday, one day closer to the beginning of the phased reopening of the state. Today’s news is filled with more sad fallout from a nation that is pent up and starting to lose control over themselves. Hopefully, people will read these stories and be able to somehow prevent similar future tragedies from happening.

1) In Oklahoma City yesterday, Gloricia Woody entered a McDonald’s, ignoring the fact that it was shut down per COVID quarantine regulations. When she was asked to leave, she engaged in a fight with the employees. A scuffle ensued, she was forced outside.

She then reentered the building with a handgun and fired approximately three rounds at the workers. One was hit in the arm, and two more were hit by shrapnel. The employee who was involved in the initial scuffle was somehow injured in the head, but authorities are not currently sure how.

None of the injuries were severe, but three were taken to the hospital to be treated.

Oklahoma City Police Captain Larry Withrow reported that Woody is being held on charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. It is unclear if there will be more charges levied against her. There were initially thought to be two suspects, but the police have since determined that Woody acted alone.

2) As if we didn’t have enough to worry about…The murder hornet is the newest thing to set the internet all a twitter (no pun intended). But folks are unclear on exactly what these deadly bugs and how they got here.

wTwo of the species found in the state of Washington late in 2019, and scientists have been attempting to track their movements ever since.

More prevalent in Japan, the wasps typically kill around 50 people a year. The Washington State Department of Agriculture, which has been working on tracking them, clarifies that they are still unsure of how the wasps got here.

WA State Dept. of Agriculture spokesperson Karla Salp stated that murder hornets are usually hitchhikers – like, on shipments, for example – and typically do not know what they are landing on. Out of the two found in WA last year, one was dead, and one was alive and flew away. There has only been one nest of the murder hornets found within all of North America, and that was destroyed. It was located on Vancouver Island.

Scientists believe more specimens are floating around, however, and that has led to the recent interest in them that is spreading quickly on social media. Scientists caution that tracking, finding, and destroying the wasps is of paramount importance to prevent them from becoming an established new species here.

Though they do not usually attack humans on purpose, they do move into honeybee colonies and destroy them. People come into deadly contact with murder hornets if they step on nests or approach an occupied beehive.

Their stings are particularly dangerous because their venom is more toxic and voluminous than most. But the biggest threat these hornets pose bee colonies around the world, many of which are already in danger of being decimated. Murder hornets can destroy a hive within mere hours.

3) In his daily COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s “PAUSE” on evictions is going to be extended for another 60 days. This will cover both commercial and residential tenants and will be extended out until Aug. 20.

Cuomo is hoping that this will help ease the minds of those who are having difficulty making ends meet during the pandemic. He and his administration are attempting to help ease the burden as the state starts its phased reopening, and hopefully people can get back to work.

The eviction pause means no evictions for not paying rent, though it is suggested that if you can pay, you should. There were two other announcements on rent relief today:

  • The state will ban late payment fees during the eviction moratorium.
  • Tenants will be allowed to use their security deposit as rent payment and repay it over time.

Coronavirus numbers are continuing to trend down overall throughout the state. Gov. Cuomo still encourages everyone to continue handwashing, using hand sanitizer, and continue using masks.

Gov. Cuomo also announced Nourish New York news today as well:

  • Over 2,100 farms are participating so far.
  • Nearly 50 food banks, soup kitchens, and food pantries will get support.
  • Over 20,000 households will get products in the next week.

The governor announced over $25 million would be pushed in the Nourish New York movement over the next few weeks.

4) Shortly after reopening its doors amid the COVID quarantine and starting a system to comply with social distancing guidelines, Jumpin’ Jacks Drive-In of Scotia announced today that it is going to be closing until further notice. It has only been opened a few days.

The announcement today on the restaurant’s Facebook was shocking and saddening for fans of the long-time Schenectady County mainstay. According to its management, Jumpin’ Jacks was having issues with the phone system they were using to comply with social distancing. Though it is unclear when they will be reopening, they implied that they would be opening before the season is over.

5) One of the final movie rental stores in the US, Crazy Nick’s in Schenectady, announced that it is closing permanently.

The owner of the video rental store decided to close once and for all after he contracted the novel coronavirus. He has also stated the financial impact of the pandemic contributed to the decision.

All movies are being sold for $5, and the store itself is on the market.

Have a good night, and happy Friday tomorrow!! Same time tomorrow.

Photo credit: George Fazio.