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Your Morning Matters: A day for science!

The Mobile Market Initiative in Mahoning Valley aims to deliver groceries to Youngstown's most vulnerable residents by 2022.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, July 21, 2021, and yesterday’s latest billionaire-in-almost-space event got me thinking about science. In fact, this is a day that is replete with science facts and achievements.

For example, in 1925, in Dayton, Tenn., high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching human evolution in violation of the so-called Butler Act and fined $100 — though that was later waived in a technicality. The state repealed the Butler Act in 1967; in 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such bans violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because the true purpose of such legislation had religious intent.

Today, the Catholic Church says that biological evolution is compatible with Christian belief. Science!

How different things were on this day in 365, when the Crete earthquake caused widespread destruction in southern Greece and unleashed a tsunami that devastated the coasts of Libya and Egypt killing many thousands. Geologists now estimate the undersea earthquake to have been at least magnitude 8.0 — similar in size to the 1906 San Francisco quake.

In those less-enlightened times, many believed the temblor was the result of a vengeful God displeased with Julian the Apostate, the Roman emperor who rejected Christianity. We now know how earthquakes happen and how they can create tsunamis. Science!

Also on this day in 1919, the dirigible Wingfoot Air Express crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, killing 12 people. Just 50 years to that very day, on July 21, 1969, the world watched as astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. 

That we could have flown so far, so safely just five decades later is truly a testament to science! Let’s explore, discover knowledge and make today count!

Devotion to Accuracy Department: On Monday, I made a mistake with an errant reference to THE Rayen School. Apologies! And thanks to smart readers like Fritz!

And here are more of the things you need to know about what's happening in the Mahoning Valley:

The Mobile Market Initiative in Mahoning Valley aims to deliver groceries to the city's most vulnerable residents by 2022. The initiative launched Tuesday with a goal to secure a bus to set up shop in different areas of the city to allow people to purchase healthy groceries at low prices. 

Rose Carter, executive director of ACTION, said the project aims to confront a specific problem: Youngstown's food desert. Reporter Ellen Wagner has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 34,169,416 confirmed cases; 609,501 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 8 p.m. July 20.
  • In Ohio: 1,118,513 confirmed or suspected cases; the new adjusted COVID-19 death total is 20,449.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,217,332 confirmed cases; 27,805 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 22,636 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 16,722 in Trumbull; and 9,159 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 34,511.99, up 549.95 points, or 1.62%.

Other matters

Featured among the newsmakers in today’s Business Updates are the Houck Agency, the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, The Youngstown Foundation and the Rotary Club of Youngstown. Mahoning Matters

Speaking of science: About 20% of Americans believe the government uses COVID vaccines to microchip people, according to a recent poll. The poll found that believers of the conspiracy theory tend to be white men without a college degree. Mahoning Matters

Opera Western Reserve is seeking local actors for its production of “Romeo + Juliet.” The reimagined production will combine text from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and orchestral and vocal music from Charles Gounod's “Roméo et Juliette” opera. Mahoning Matters

An ex-employee of a Salem manufacturer is suing the company, alleging it didn’t accommodate her cancer diagnosis disability and it penalized her for missed workdays due to her cancer treatments as well as Ohio’s COVID-19 restrictions, causing her to be terminated. Mahoning Matters

According to the Pennsylvania Lottery, a $1 million winning ticket was purchased at The Clark House on Valley View Road in Mercer County. WFMJ

Mark Marvin, president of Downtown Development Group, said his company is no longer interested in redeveloping 20 Federal Place. The Business Journal

Tracey Wright, a retired Youngstown firefighter and member of the Ohio Peer Support Team, was one of four members of the team sent to Surfside, Fla., to provide help to first responders. WKBN

A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag was sentenced Monday to eight months behind bars, while a telephone hearing for a Champion man charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection was postponed. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

DIVA Donations provides gently used formal dresses, like prom and bridal, to women and teens of the Mahoning Valley through community donations. Owner Kristin Bodendorfer describes the operation as “the first formal clothing closet in Mahoning County.” Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by America's Wholesale Outlet.

Your comments matter

“What a great ending. These animals can get themselves into anything. Please watch your pets.” 

Beverly Spicer, on firefighters in Cincinnati rescuing a dog that was stuck behind a garage wall.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

Event of the day

It’s Military Appreciation Night as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers take on the State College Spikes at Eastwood Field, 111 Eastwood Mall Blvd., Niles. Fans with a military ID can get two upper-box-seat tickets free at the Chevy All-Stars Box Office. It's also $2 Pizza Joe's Pizza Slice Night at the concession stands during the game.

To see what else is going on around the Mahoning Valley, check out Mahoning Matters’ event calendar here, or click the Events tab on the top menu at

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Mark Sweetwood

About the Author: Mark Sweetwood

Mark Sweetwood has spent 37 years working in the local news business. For more than a decade, he served as managing editor of The Vindicator. He also teaches journalism at YSU.
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