What is going on in the City of Utica? For the second time in one month, a teenager has been killed with a firearm. It is the city's second homicide of the year and the first took the life of a 15-year-old child. This time the victim was 16-years-old.

The New Year kicked off with the news of a 15-year-old victim found in a driveway of a residence on the west side of the city, but Utica Police have announced that a new homicide investigation kicked off Wednesday night on the city's east side.

According to the Utica Police Department Facebook page, members of the Utica Police Department responded to the scene on the 1100 block of Smith Place at approximately 9:30 p.m. for reports of 'shots fired' and a gunshot victim. Upon arrival at the scene officers did locate a male victim in the roadway suffering a gunshot wound to the head.

Utica Fire Department officials immediately transported the victim to the Wynn Hospital for emergent treatment, according to police. Despite life saving efforts in the ambulance and in the emergency department of the Wynn Hospital the victim tragically succumbed to his injuries.

The devastating aspect of this story is the age of the victim. Utica Police say the male who was shot in the head and killed was a 16-year-old resident in the City of Utica. The identity of this victim will not be released, unless discussions with the family warrant it.

As far as the investigation, it is being handled by the Utica Police Department Major Crimes Unit. They are pleading with people to please provide any and all information they may have in regards to this incident. Police are also asking anyone who lives or owns a business in the Upper East Utica area or Cornhill area to please review their security systems. If you see anything that could be helpful, please contact investigators.

The first homicide of the city that saw a 15-year-old killed is still not resolved either. Any information is helpful. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers.

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Another year means another round of residents either moving to or leaving the state. While New York is seeing quite a few people flee the state, the majority of them appear to be leaving New York City.

A report from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found NYC's population shrank by 5 percent since 2021.

The report also found that some of those city-dwellers relocated to towns just outside the Big Apple, which seems to be backed up by the latest Census data. In fact, 9 of the 10 cities with the fastest growing populations are within driving distance to NYC.

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As for what determines what makes a city or town one of the "worst" places to live, Road Snacks compared 163 cities with 5,000 or more residents, to find those with the lowest median home value, weakest school districts, and highest rates of unemployment and crime. In short, the survey ranked cities and towns based off their economic performance and opportunity for growth, which Road Snacks says impacts the quality of life of its residents.

In the end, these 10 cities were deemed to be the worst New York State has to offer. That said, the company is not calling these cities bad - so if you have an issue, take it up with Road Snacks. We're just reporting their findings.

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