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Your Morning Matters: And now a word about Vienna ...

When Brandon Droney was told to pack his bags for a deployment to Afghanistan to help end America’s longest war, he had no idea what was ahead.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, and the emails started coming in just after 6 a.m. Thursday morning. And there was a theme: In your discussion of Valley pronunciations you left out the most egregious local example: Vienna.

Former Vindicator colleague and all-around awesome human Reed Strom was among those weighing in: "How about “VI-enna” where the airport is, not the one in Austria?" Yes, I confess, that took me a few years after moving here to reconcile. Eventually, in my brain, I set it to the old "Green Acres" theme song: "VIIIIIIIEEEEEE-enna is the place to be..." Problem solved!

Another reader wrote in with a fascinating explanation of Campbell: "'Camel' comes from nearly every resident not speaking English as their birth language, except the school teachers. When I moved to Mahoning Valley in the 1970s, Campbell had a distinct 'Campbell' way of speaking. Too bad no one studied/recorded it like they occasionally did during the WPA era."

Bonnie contributed several Ohioisms for us to consider, including:

• Cadiz
Spain: kuh-DEEZ
Ohio: KAD-iss

• Lima
Peru: Lee-muh
Ohio: LIE-muh

Rick writes in with this pronunciation story: "I have three kids who all live in a little town [northwest] of Charlotte N.C. named Cherryville. Easy to pronounce, right? Three syllables: cher-y-ville. Well, not if you're from down south. Two syllables and pretty much leave the vowels out: chr-vle. My daughter will get mad at me when I try to say it that way, because I can't."

When Elvis Presley said "Memphis," it was more akin to "MEH-feh." It's a southern dialect thing, and northerners should beware: There's a fine line between attempting to acquiesce to local customs and appearing to mock a southern accent.

I’ll be back here Monday. Until then, have a great weekend!

Now, here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

When Brandon Droney was told he had 12 hours to pack his bags for his first deployment to Afghanistan to help end America’s longest war, he had no idea what was ahead. Droney, a Struthers native, is a U.S. Air Force senior airman who works as a mobile C4 technician, providing communication services for Air Force crews.

But on Aug. 15, when the Afghan government collapsed after a nearly 20-year war with the Taliban — allowing the group to regain control of the country — he was called to his first emergency deployment. Reporter Amanda Joerndt has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 45,284,415 confirmed cases; 732,952 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 7 p.m. Oct. 21.
  • In Ohio: 1,507,676 confirmed or suspected cases; 23,616 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,525,813 confirmed cases; 30,815 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 30,400 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 22,673 in Trumbull; and 13,872 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 35,609.34, down 6.26 points, or 0.018%.

Other matters

The weekend before Halloween is a busy weekend indeed, according to this week's Weekend Matters. From "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" at Stambaugh Auditorium to the DeBartolo Commons opening at Southern Park Mall to America performing at Robins Theatre, we have all the details. Mahoning Matters

It’s impossible not to notice the rising costs at fuel pumps, where gas prices are up more than a dollar per gallon from a year ago. We looked into the causes. Mahoning Matters

In "Your Legal Rights" this week, attorney David Betras takes a look at  religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. On one hand, he notes, "Title VII requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees who refuse to be vaccinated due to their sincerely held religious beliefs." On the other hand, "As my regular readers know, there is simply nothing simple about the law." Mahoning Matters

A North Jackson family never expected to see a large juvenile black bear digging into their trash cans when they reviewed video recorded on their security camera. WKBN

Youngstown City Council voted to raise the starting salary of the city's firefighters from $26,000 dollars to $37,000. WFMJ

An airplane that Fox News and The New York Post claims is secretly flying underage migrants to parts of the United States landed at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, but evidence shows the stop was not to transport migrants here, but rather to take home the Missouri State football team after its Oct. 9 loss to the Youngstown State University Penguins. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

Everything from extension cords to industrial paper cutters are up for grabs as the Vindicator Printing Co. auctions off more than 300 lots of industrial equipment, tools and other items once used at the longtime daily newspaper. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

The city of Youngstown is taking another look at its plan to control sewage overflows, even as its efforts to comply with a federal mandate lag nearly three years behind schedule. The reevaluation comes as the city considers how to spend more than $80 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which some residents have urged the administration to spend on wastewater infrastructure. Mahoning Matters

Event of the day

The Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane, will host a free Trunk or Treat event from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will offer a safe, centralized trick-or-treating experience for children and families. Donations will be accepted in support of the Youth Theatre, which serves 150 children annually via classes, workshops and productions.

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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