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The Spill: A Real-Life River Monster

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Now That’s a Fish Story

A 240lb sturgeon was pulled out of the water as it came up for a snack, weighed and measured, and then released.

The huge fish was caught by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month near Grosse Ile, a bit south of Detroit. The agency described the colossal creature, measuring seven feet long, as “a real-life river monster” and estimated her age at well over 100 years. The three-person crew of fishing biologists spent about six minutes trying to get her into the boat using a large net. Jason Fischer, one of the folks who caught the fish, remarked, “I felt the fish thumping on the line. As it got closer, it just got bigger and bigger.”

A female sturgeon usually lives 70 to 100 years, while males live around 55 years. The sturgeon is a threatened species in 18 states, including Michigan. They are freshwater fish that live at the bottom of rivers and lakes, including the Mississippi River, Hudson Bay, and the Great Lakes. As such, anglers are limited to one sturgeon a year in many states. Any sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be safely released.

Now the old fish has done her part for research and can live many more years in peace and quiet. Now that is an epic fish story.

India Battles Black Mold and a Covid Variant

Doctors in India have been fighting a deadly surge in COVID-19 – and now they face a new threat: mucormycosis, a rare and possibly fatal infection known as black fungus. After hundreds of people were hospitalized, at least 90 people have died from this uncommon condition.

Catching black fungus usually happens when a person inhales fungal spores in the air, but infections can also spread through open wounds, scratches, and burns. Symptoms include facial swelling, skin ulcers, fever, and lesions or sores in the mouth.

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the treatment for the infection is intravenously distributed ant-fungal medication. Amphotericin B is what Indian states are using to fight this latest epidemic. Early diagnosis and treatment are the most important factors in recovery and survival, health experts say.

At this time, there is no evidence that the United States has any cases associated with COVID-19. Yet much is unknown about the lingering effects of the many strains and variants of the Coronavirus.

Can Oregon Counties Secede To Idaho?

Last year, two counties in Oregon – Jefferson and Union – voted to leave their home state and head east to Idaho. Just last week, five additional counties joined them: Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur, and Sherman.

According to a report from KTVB-TV in Boise, there is a lot to do before a move can be made: “To make it a reality, the group would need all 19 counties to approve of it, plus portions of a few others. Then it would need both the Oregon and Idaho legislatures to pass it, and Congress would also give it the OK.”

But it has happened in the United States before:

  • 1792: Kentucky was created from Virginia’s territory.
  • 1820: From Massachusetts, Maine was created.
  • 1863: During the Civil War, when counties were divided by North and South, West Virginia was carved into the latest U.S. state.

The person leading the efforts to leave Oregon is Mike McCarter, president of Citizens for Greater Idaho. He believes the push for rural Oregonians to be out from under the power of coastal cities is obvious: “If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will. If we’re allowed to vote for which government officials we want, we should be allowed to vote for which government we want as well.”

The voter turnout in the special secession election was high: 43% of the residents voted, and 63% of those voted to become part of Idaho. Petitioners are now encouraging eastern parts of California and Washington state to sign up as well.

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