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Your Morning Matters: A day for those who are sweet like a boss

USPS, UPS and FedEx have released their holiday shipping deadlines for gifts you need delivered prior to Dec. 24 and 25 within the U.S.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, and I wanted to give you a few days to make BIG plans, but in case you didn’t know, Saturday is the weird convergence of Sweetest Day and National Boss's Day.

Sweetest Day is traditionally observed on the third Saturday of October. Despite temps pushing the 80s all week, we’re already coming up on the third Saturday in October! And Sweetest Day has a Northeast Ohio connection: 99 years ago, in 1922, several Cleveland candy companies got together to distribute more than 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks and the poor.”

Just think of me as your friendly, neighborhood newsboy.

Meanwhile, National Boss’s Day recognizes "the hardworking boss overseeing the workplace." I'm also told, "If the 16th of October falls on a weekend, then this day is celebrated on the closest working day," which would make it Friday. It dates back to 1958 when "Patricia Bays Haroski registered National Boss’s Day as a holiday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in honor of her father, who was also her employer." 

My wife and I (actually, me) once made an effort on Sweetest Day, but to be fair, now that she's in retail and working every freakin' Saturday in October (and November ... and December ...), that has taken its toll. We're strong on birthdays, Valentine's Day and the anniversary, though.

Boss's Day is more complicated. First, I would be embarrassed if my staff made a fuss, got me a card, delivered large amounts of alcohol to my house in Boardman, etc., just because of a title. Now, if they do it because it's Sweetest Day, well ... 

Just kidding. In truth, I have always worked in the servant-leader model of management. I firmly believe if you take care of your staff, your staff will take care of you. This model has had its moments, but I've rarely been disappointed in my 39 professional years (and five months) in which I have spent only 31 months NOT in a traditional workplace leadership role. 

So if your sweetheart or boss has been especially deserving this year, you can't say you weren't given ample time to figure out a cool gift. And if you are the recipient of some kindness, maybe send along a simple “Thanks, Mark!” Now let’s go and make today count!

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

When it comes to the sending and receiving of holiday packages ahead of Christmas, major shipping companies are reminding people that sooner is better than later. “The earlier you send, the better,” the U.S. Postal Service advises on its website. “Don’t delay, mail and ship today!”

But if you prefer a hard deadline, we can provide that, too. USPS, UPS and FedEx have released their holiday shipping deadlines for gifts you need delivered prior to Dec. 24 and 25 within the U.S. We have the details today.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 44,549,229 confirmed cases; 716,335 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.
  • In Ohio: 1,474,723 confirmed or suspected cases; 23,021 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,486,134 confirmed cases; 30,058 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 29,612 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 22,040 in Trumbull; and 13,301 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 34,378.34, down 117.72 points, or 0.34%.

Other matters

Among the Valley newsmakers featured in today's Business Updates are Akron Children’s Hospital, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Youngstown Business Incubator, Choolaah, WYSU, Regional Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates and Brokers Realty. Mahoning Matters

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a new 2,400-square-foot facility at Alta Care Group’s Camp Challenge in Mill Creek Park. Mahoning Matters

Eye doctors are urging Halloween costume fanatics to beware of colored contact lenses labeled “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye doctor,” both messages of which are false. Mahoning Matters

A franchisee of chicken wing chain Wingstop has purchased a plaza on U.S. Route 224 for $795,000 across the road from Southern Park Mall that previously housed a Payless shoe store and FedEx. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

A new Goodwill store opened Tuesday morning on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown next to Dollar Tree and Walmart. WKBN

Fred Joseph, the man convicted of killing Niles Police Officer John Utlak 40 years ago, will remain in prison for now. WFMJ

Hospital bed availability in the state hit all-time lows Friday, and availability in Mahoning Valley hospitals remains tight, according to Eye on Ohio data released Monday. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

A quarter of all critical infrastructure in the U.S., including airports, fire stations and hospitals, are currently at risk of “becoming inoperable,” according to a new report released Monday​. Flooding caused by changing environmental conditions that fuel more severe weather is to blame. Mahoning Matters

Event of the day

Youngstown State University faculty members Sean Yancer and Diane Yazvac will perform as part of the Dana School of Music’s Music at Noon concert series at 12:15 p.m. at The Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown.

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 39 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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