With 2021 coming to an end, let's take a look back at the Top Ten Local News Stories of the year.

One of this year's top stories was also one of 2020's top stories, the continued battle against COVID-19.

The change in power at the top of New York State government was certainly a local story as well.

And two sports stories also made it into the Top Ten.

In no particular order, here are 2021's Top Local News Stories.

COVID-19- COVID-19 continued to rear its ugly head in 2021.  Oneida County saw a big increase in COVID-19 cases near the year.  County Executive Anthony Picente put a mask mandate into effect in December, requiring masks be worn in all indoor places.

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Resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo- Governor Andrew Cuomo was forced to step down after report from State Attorney General Letitia James detailed sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo by 11 women.  Cuomo was ordered to pay back to proceeds of his $5 million book deal by the State Ethics Commission, but that move is still being challenged.

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Kathy Hohcul Becomes Governor- With the resignation of Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul became New York state’s first woman Governor.  The Democrat Hochul says she will run for a full term as Governor in 2022.

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Sherwood Boehlert Dies- Central New York political icon Sherwood Boehlert passed away at the age of 84.  Boehlert served in Congress from 1983 to 2007.  “Sherry” also served as Oneida County Executive from 1979 to 1983. The Sherwood Boehlert Hall and Conference Center at Utica College is named in his honor.

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Former Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco Dies- Former Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco also passed away in 2021 at the age of 63.  Fusco served as Rome Mayor from 2011 to 2015.

Innovare Center Opens at Griffiss- A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in July at the Innovare Advancement Center at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.  The $12 million center is an open innovation hub that will bring together scientific researchers, academia and the Department of Defense to collaborate on cutting edge technology.

MVHS Hospital Projects Gets $5 million Gift- The downtown Utica hospital got a new name, along with a $50 million contribution from casino mogul and Utica native, Steve Wynn. Going forward, Utica's new hospital which is expected to open in 2023, will be named the Wynn Hospital of Mohawk Valley Health System.

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Obliston Apartment building in Utica to Get $55 million Makeover- In July, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri deemed the Obliston Apartments were unsafe to live in and all of the building’s tenants were relocated. In December, Palmieri announced that Liberty Affordable Housing will re-develop the apartments. Liberty will spend $55 million and will re-establish 153 affordable housing units. The project is expected to take two years to complete.

Utica Comets Set AHL Record- The Utica Comets announced a new 10-year affiliation agreement with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The Comets went out and set an AHL record with 13 straight wins to start the season.  That broke a record set in the 1984-85 season by the Rochester Americans.

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Fall Boilermaker- After being run virtually in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the Utica Boilermaker Road Race was run in October for the first time instead of the second Sunday in July.  Syracuse native Stephen Rathbun was the first American winner since 1991.  New Hartford native Savannah Boucher became the first American women’s winner since 1989.

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Top 10 Local News Stories of 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, here are the Top 10 local news stories of the year.

Top 5 Local Sports Stories Of 2021

There were many local sports stories that highlighted 2021, including a couple of firsts. Here are a look at the Top Five, along with a bonus story.

$850,000 Outdoorsy Home In Rome Will Stun You As You Walk In The Door

Tiny's Of Utica's Extraordinary Nutcracker Display

Did you know that Tiny's Grill on State Street in Utica has the largest private collection of nutcrackers in all of America? Tiny's has a collection of over 600 nutcrackers.