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Community Columns

Attention writers: Do you have something you would like to share about the community that matters most to you? Do you have unique skills to share? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about?

Mahoning Matters is looking for community columns to share with our readers. We want your takes on everything from getting the kids to school on time to topics like the racial divide in our community. 

Submit 500-word essays for consideration to Mark Sweetwood at mark@mahoningmatters.com. Submissions must include a brief bio and mug shot of the writer. Publication is at the discretion of the editor.

The Earnheardts | Kids want their own YouTube channels

The Earnheardts | Kids want their own YouTube channels

There have been times, as parents, we’ve dismissed these aspirations as fantasy. I mean, YouTuber was never on our “successful career” bingo card in high school career-ready class. We were encouraged to check out nice, safe careers like accountants or astronauts.
KEEPING THE FAITH | On facing life's trials and tribulations

KEEPING THE FAITH | On facing life's trials and tribulations

The key to life is not ignoring the problems that you face. It is not even in having all good moments. The key is in believing that your current situation is not the end of the journey.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Should I be afraid to file an insurance claim?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Should I be afraid to file an insurance claim?

During the 20-plus years the “Legally Speaking” call-in show has been on the air, I’ve talked to hundreds of people who will not file a homeowner’s claim because they are terrified of being canceled even though they have been paying premiums for decades.
LIZ DREIER | Scenes from the cold war

LIZ DREIER | Scenes from the cold war

Some people suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. For me, it’s the beginning of that combative reign of terror known in our family as THAW — Thermostat Heat Activating Wars.
KEEPING THE FAITH | Thoughts on blessings and MLK Day events

KEEPING THE FAITH | Thoughts on blessings and MLK Day events

I cannot think of a more poignant period in current history for a comprehensive examination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., his mission and his methods, which were committed to a more fair, just and humane society. 
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Did Twitter violate President Trump's First Amendment rights?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Did Twitter violate President Trump's First Amendment rights?

In the days since rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol, a number of social media platforms have imposed outright bans or restrictions on the president's accounts. I am not going to reveal whether I agree or disagree with the actions taken by those private companies.
The Earnheardts | Broken time machine

The Earnheardts | Broken time machine

It seems as though 2020 has turned me into a full-blown, no-going-back adult. The position of “the kids” has been filled by my niece, nephews and children. My generation has ascended to family leadership, and a big part of me fears this more than anything. 
KEEPING THE FAITH | Why mentoring is a biblically based concept

KEEPING THE FAITH | Why mentoring is a biblically based concept

There is purpose in extending yourself to empower others to stir up their gifts. I encourage you to ask God through prayer to show you whom He wants you to invest in. Be open to the wonderful possibilities of equipping someone to fulfill their purpose. 
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Is it a bad idea to post my riot selfies on social media?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Is it a bad idea to post my riot selfies on social media?

Once the authorities have made positive ID’s, the people who were smiling as they rampaged through the Rotunda, Statuary Hall and the House and Senate chambers will not be grinning — they will be handcuffed, charged, read their Miranda rights and fitted with a nifty orange jumpsuit.
LIZ DREIER | Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

LIZ DREIER | Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Mr. 2020 long outstayed his welcome (That’s right. I refer to it as “him” because a woman wouldn’t do us like that.). My thoughts began to meander in the direction of wondering what kind of farewell message people might have for our ungrateful guest.