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The Claw has sunk a Waterbank Fishing Company vessel in the Blake Sea today, infuriating WFC, which called for “a full, all-out, smoke-from-the-props” effort to eradicate the criminal organization.

The vessel, the W.S. Free Range, was one of hundreds of trawlers in open waters catching fish. The ship is crewed by by six, none of which were found after another merchant ship sailed toward the plume of smoke.

WFC has made formal requests to Waterbank and in the absence of the Mayor, asked the WBA to act as a governing body. “They know which side of the trout to butter,” said the WFC President.

The WBA has declined to comment on the issue, saying only that “WFC will get results.”

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The mayoral race in the City of Canton is heating up with four contenders for the office. The contenders, jeremiah xuanzang, hyeena Resident, Carson Capelo, and Takeo.Kanashimi, are each vying for control of one of the most powerful metropolis and each has sent private messages to influential political groups to sway votes.

“We’ve gotten cards from everyone, but only Jeremiah Xuanzang has sent us candy,” said the Editor in Chief of the Waterbank News. “If nobody tops that, we’ll throw in behind him.”

The WBA was above the matter. “We’ve received assurances from some of the candidates,” said Sketch Sun, “but we are a pro-business organization. We will give our endorsement only if there is a clear benefit to the economy and our business partners.”

The City of Canton is also running a concurrent council election with four candidates vying for those positions. Inara Indigo, Kahlen.Vaniva, amira Moore, and Micheal.Porterfield are each in the council election.

Waterbank News is celebrating in classic Waterbank style this week with parties that are likely to continue into next month. The festivities started when the Editor in Chief realized that the paper had published more than 1200 articles – 1198 more than critics had said were possible.

“We have really covered a lot,” said the Editor in Chief. “and there have been some crazy stories. Let me take you through some of them. We had crazy late night meetings with conspiracy folks, like the NTBI guy (link), we covered the entire Secret Society of the Crested Lotus expedition into the anomalies (link), and then when it came back (link). We lost people (link), and never saw them again. We saw giant monkeys (link), mayors assassinated (link), several wars (link), international politics (link), and were even arrested on occasion (link).

“Don’t forget there were slow news days, too,” called out another reporter. “We may – or may not have,” he looked over at the WBA office, “made some of our own news (link).”

“And don’t forget the ghost (link),” said another reporter. “We had a ghost too!”

Champagne was passed around the office, and quickly consumed. The reporters reminisced about all the stories – printed and unprinted. In the corner two reporters spoke in low tones about stories with no follow through. “We only covered the tip of the iceberg with the Forgier Report (link). People are saying he’s still alive.” The other reporter nodded his head. “What about the insane cloning scheme (link) Waterbank hatched?”

Food arrived and the reporters gathered around it. Some looked as though they had not seen it in days.

“We have never felt so good,” said one reporter who was already pouring a scotch, “to think we cleared 1200 articles! My momma said I would never work hard,” he laughed, “and she was right. To mama,” he called out to the office, holding up his drink. They returned his toast and the whole office took a drink.

The Sheriff’s Department is reporting no new developments in the murder case of the Waterbank Mayor, despite an aggressive search. “They’re really burning up the rubber out there,” said one East River Policeman, “just not sure where they’re going.”

Meanwhile no Mayor has been chosen and the few remaining departments have not made a powersharing agreement. “It’s chaos wrapped in a bacon-ny kind of fubar,” said WBA President Sketch Sun in an uncharacteristicly glib comment at local charity. “No one can even decide how to clean the office.”

MD

Early this morning, the Sheriff’s Department sent a patrol to the East River Pippen Dock (link) after reports of vandals gunning motors on the docks, only to find a trail of papers leading from a stolen water taxi to the Waterbank Offices. According to a Deputy that was on the scene, it was obvious that a serious crime had been committed.

“A bloody footprint was left on the floor, and the desk had been rifled. CSI has not found any fingerprints, but a number of clues were left, and we’re tracking them down now.”

MD1 Our photographer snapped this shot while the Sheriff inspected the scene. The Mayor’s body was under a bloody carpet.

The Mayor had not been seen in recent weeks, and the Pippen office which has a desk for the WBA and the Waterbank News had not seen her for over a month.

“Perhaps this explains why her approval numbers were so high,” said one employee of the WBA. It was generally known that there was no love lost between the Mayor and her officemates, especially after layoffs had dissolved many of Waterbank’s capabilities.

What the death of the Mayor means for Waterbank is hard to determine in yet another political vacuum. “Waterbank’s mayors have met some bad ends,” said a political science professor at Waterbank University. “Barnaby (link), Forgier (link), and now Countley were assassinated, and Steele embezzled funds and ran off. It’s hard to replace a mayor when everyone thinks they’re life expectancy drops when they take the job.”

The Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation and is looking into all leads. Anyone with knowledge of the crime is requested to contact the Department.