The national saga of the destruction of massive agricultural facilities continues after millions of chickens were killed in a five-alarm fire in southern Illinois last week.

Farina Farms Inc., Poultry Farms in Marion County became engulfed in flames last Wednesday evening. Firefighters from as many as thirty different departments from around the region responded to the call placed at 6:30p.m. The blaze resulted in the destruction of multiple buildings, as well as the deaths of about 1.3 million chickens. The manager of the farm said that it’s a devastating loss for the family-owned business, one that was acquired from Kroger in 1985 by the Indiana-based Wabash Family Produce.

Smoke was reported as visible on Doppler radars, as well as across southern Illinois and even from the Indiana border. The fire took about twelve hours to put out.

While no injuries were reported, the direct cause of the fire remains unclear.

The Farina Farms fire comes just about a month after the Oakdell Egg Farms fire in Lewiston, Utah, in late April.

A five-hour blaze began at about 4:00p.m. on April 23. Fire departments from around Cache County, Utah, and neighboring municipalities just over the Idaho border responded to the fire.

The fire resulted in no injuries, but claimed more than 100,000 chickens.

The cause of the fire is also undetermined at this time.

In national governmental news, the Biden Administration is taking fire for a purportedly underhanded attempt at giving 350,000 migrants “mass amnesty.”

Pursuant to a New York Post report, since 2022, more than 350,000 asylum cases filed by illegal immigrants have been closed by the U.S. government if said applicants do not possess criminal records or are not considered a threat to the country. While the result does not expressly grant or deny asylum, it does, however, terminate their cases “without a decision on the merits of their asylum claim.”

Subsequently, the applicants are no longer tracked by the legal system and are not required to report to authorities as they typically would in the asylum-seeking process.

According to the data, 2022 saw 36,000 migrants ordered to be removed from the U.S, 32,000 granted asylum, and 102,550 had their cases dismissed, compared to just 4,700 in 2020.

In 2023, 149,000 cases were dismissed. With 2024 roughly half over, the numbers look to surpass those of last year’s, with 114,000 cases dismissed.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers say that they have witnessed migrants commit crimes after their asylum cases were dismissed, only to result in a tedious removal process, which usually takes years.

Once the cases are dismissed, affected immigrants are not subject to deportation, unless otherwise specifically noted. Affected immigrants are also no longer required to regularly report to ICE.

Although a dismissed case prohibits migrants from receiving public benefits or work permits, the lack of obligation to leave the U.S. allows migrants to explore other avenues of legal status or re-apply for asylum.

In political news, the final big day of the primary calendar was held on Tuesday. Both parties held primaries in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

Biden carried Montana with 92.1% of the vote, as of press time, to the “No Preference” option’s 7.9%. Trump took 89.6% to the “No Preference” option’s 10.4%. Both are expected to sweep all fifty-six counties and secure all twenty and thirty-one delegates, respectively.
Both candidates won New Jersey, with Biden taking 88.3% to the “Uncommitted” option’s 9.0%, and Trump winning by default due to no ballot opposition. Biden took all twenty-one counties and 126 delegates. Trump will earn twelve delegates, as New Jersey had its forty delegates removed as a penalty for scheduling the primary after May 31.

Congressman Andy Kim (D, NJ-03) has earned the nomination for New Jersey’s open Senate seat, currently held by scandal-plagued Senator Bob Menendez (D). He will face Curtis Bradshaw (R) in November.

Only Democrats primaried in the District of Columbia on Tuesday night, with Biden taking 93.9% of the vote in the solidly-blue city.
In New Mexico, both Trump and Biden won their contests and both swept all thirty-three counties. Biden took 83.5% of the vote to the “Uncommitted” option’s 9.8%. Trump secured 84.5% of the vote, with long-suspended Nikki Haley (R-SC) taking 8.6% and the “Uncommitted” option taking 3.4%. Biden wins thirty-four delegates; Trump wins twenty-two.

Nella Domenici, the daughter of former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) will face Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in November. Pete Domenici’s last election was in 2002, the last time the Land of Enchantment has elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate.

New Mexico’s only swing seat in the U.S. House, NM-02, will easily become a marquee House race for the fourth consecutive year, as Congressman Gabe Vasquez (D) will face a rematch with Yvette Herrell (R). Herrell flipped the seat in 2020 but lost to Vasquez in 2022. NM-02 represents the southern tier of the state and was redrawn in 2021 to have a slight blue lean.

In South Dakota, Biden took 73.% of the vote and led in all but three of the state’s sixty-six counties. Results were not posted in the outstanding three as of press time. Long-suspended candidates Marianne Williamson (D-CA) and Congressman Dean Phillips (D, MN-03) each took about 10% of the vote. Trump won South Dakota by default due to no ballot opposition. Trump earns twenty-nine delegates; Biden wins sixteen.

Finally, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has earned ballot access in South Carolina, netting him nine electoral votes on his path to 270. Nevada’s Secretary of State is challenging the validity of his signatures due to his petitions having been processed before his running mate was named.


Albany is currently nearing an agreement on landmark legislation that would alter social media algorithms presented to children.

The Stop Addictive Feed Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act would prohibit the provision of addictive social media feeds to minors by means of algorithms used to make online content far-reaching and ubiquitous. The SAFE for Kids Act would also establish remedies and penalties.
The legislative intent for the Assembly version of the bill (A.8148) states that social media platforms “automatically process enormous amounts of data about the behavior of users.” The intent also states that in addition to typical “likes” and “follows” that certain content might receive from a user, social media apps are constantly logging other forms of engagement, such as time spent viewing a certain type of media or content. This allows the algorithm to make predictions regarding a user’s interests, attention span, and moods that keep the content the algorithm finds “relevant” regularly circulated in the feed.

Albany also finds that such assembly-line-like feeds have proven to be addictive and have “dramatic negative effects” on children and teenagers.

The SAFE for Kids Act would restrict social media companies’ uses of algorithms for users under the age of 18, which legislators say would reduce the addictive nature of the social media platforms. The bill would prevent social media apps from sending notifications to minors during late night and early morning hours without parental consent.

The legislative intent for the Senate version of the bill (S.7694A) states: “Children are particularly susceptible to addictive feeds because they provide a non-stop drip of dopamine with each new piece of media and because children are less capable of exercising the impulse control necessary to mitigate these negative effects.”

The bill has earned the support of Governor Kathy Hochul (D), Attorney General Letitia James (D), and both parties in the New York State Legislature. Advocacy groups also support the measure, including the United Federation of Teachers, Mothers Against Media Addiction, and the New York Urban League.

Opponents include Chamber of Progress, a tech industry organization that says the New York bills would hamper production of age-appropriate feeds for minors.

“It could mean that whoever posts most recently goes to the top of a teen’s feed — even if that post is spam, hate speech, or other harmful content,” Chamber for Progress said on their website.

Chamber for Progress receives support from major tech firms, including Meta, Apple, and Amazon.

The New York Inclusive Internet Coalition says that the measure threatens certain “marginalized” communities that have active online presences.

“We believe the ability to freely use the internet is an important right – particularly for LGBTQ+ youth, undocumented immigrants, young women exercising their reproductive rights, and the elderly,” the organization said in a statement. “We agree that New York’s young people are facing a mental health crisis, and with the importance of examining how youth interact with social media and the potential harms that may occur. Yet we believe that focusing on regulating social media’s algorithms does not address this crisis’ root causes.”

Assembly co-sponsors from Suffolk include Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor), Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow), Joe DeStefano (R-Medford), Jarett Gandolfo (R-Sayville), Michael Durso (R-Massapequa Park), Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills), Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Wheatley Heights), and Keith Brown (R-Northport).

Senate co-sponsors from Suffolk include Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk), Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue), and Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood).


Congressman Nick laLota (R, NY-01), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus, recently helped secure $40 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Long Island Sound geographic program.

In 2023, LaLota introduced the Long Island Sound Stewardship and Restoration Act, which would reauthorize the Long Island Sound Program through 2028. LaLota has reaffirmed his support for his 2023 bill this year, and has also supported reauthorizing the Long Island Sound Program in the biannual Water Resources Development Act.

The $40 million for the Long Island Sound comes from the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill that was enacted in March.
“From fishing to tourism to its role as a critical natural resource, the Long Island Sound is much more than a body of water, it is a way of life. I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to secure $40 million to preserve the Sound in this year’s government funding process,” said LaLota. “This vital funding will help address pollution, improve water quality, restore important habitats, and protect the Sound for decades to come. The Sound provides invaluable resources to Long Island families, and I am committed to its preservation to ensure a healthier environment for future generations.”

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Matt Meduri has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Messenger Papers since August 2023. He is the author of the America the Beautiful, Civics 101, and This Week Today columns. Matt graduated from St. Joseph's University, Patchogue, in 2022, with a degree in Human Resources and worked for his family's IT business for three years. He's also a musician and composer with his sights set on the film industry. Matt has traveled all around the U.S. and enjoys cooking, photography, and a good cup of coffee.