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Your Morning Matters: Chain, chain, chain ...

As Canfield Local Schools administrators prepare to revisit the district’s mask requirement, they’re eyeing new protocols.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, and I hate to be THAT guy, but we face mounting crises this fall that threaten the very foundation of all that we hold dear.

Yes, supply chain issues may wreck everything from Halloween to Christmas.

I first heard of such issues from my wife, who works in retail. If you decided you needed a last-minute homecoming dress and headed to a department store in recent weeks, you likely found that such dresses were in short supply or completely unavailable. Explanations of the global supply chain crisis that even lead to Easter and spring items arriving in July fell on deaf, exasperated shopper ears.

But it is apparently about to get a whole lot worse than the Great Homecoming Dress Crisis of ’21. Some headlines you may have missed:

  • Halloween could be haunted by supply chain shortages. "Halloween supplies and decorations are being impacted by the same supply chain issues we've seen for months. All the decorations, candy and costumes are loaded up at ports around the U.S., but there simply aren't enough truck drivers to deliver them to stores."
     
  • Toymakers race to get products on shelves amid supply clogs. "The snarls are so severe that some retailers are telling companies they don’t want products if they’re shipped after mid-October. That’s because products that typically took four to six weeks from when they left a factory in China to landing at a U.S. distribution center now take 12 to 16 weeks, says Marc Rosenberg, a toy consultant."
     
  • The "shop now for the holidays" chorus grows louder amid supply-chain bottlenecks. "The American Christmas Tree Association last month advised consumers to get their trees early — whether it be living or artificial. You can also expect to pay more."

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden pledged the feds might weigh in: “Now, if the private sector doesn’t step up, we’re going to call them out and ask them to act because our goal is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck but to address the long-standing weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed.”

Now, let’s — somehow — make today count, anyway.

Here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

As Canfield Local Schools administrators prepare to revisit the district’s mask requirement for kindergartners through sixth-graders later this month, they’re eyeing new protocols — now in place elsewhere in the state — that could cut down on the number of quarantines required after COVID-19 exposure.

Under the “test to stay” protocol, students who had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case can stay in school as long as they receive negative results on two rapid antigen tests, continue to wear a mask inside the school and remain symptom-free. Reporter Justin Dennis has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 44,680,231 confirmed cases; 719,483 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 9 p.m. Oct. 13.
  • In Ohio: 1,445,786 confirmed or suspected cases; 22,490 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,458,445 confirmed cases; 29,722 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 28,861 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 21,455 in Trumbull; and 12,838 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 34,377.81, down 0.53 points, or 0.0015%.

Other matters

Mahoning County Public Health will provide Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots from 9 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday at the Austintown Senior Center. Mahoning Matters

A new survey of Ohioans confirms assistance programs have been a lifeline for families reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Mahoning Matters

A new poll found Americans are increasingly pessimistic about when a normal, post-COVID-19 life will begin. Mahoning Matters

Part of a movie is being filmed along the state Route 62 and state Route 45 bypass in Salem. The movie, “Wheat Germ,” is being shot for Netflix and stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. WKBN

A Mahoning County woman has filed a class-action suit in federal court alleging minimum wage violations by Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course and three other venues in Ohio operated by Penn National Gaming. WFMJ

A dispute between the city of Youngstown and the developer of the stalled Chill-Can project is scheduled to go to trial a year from now, according to papers filed with the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

Auto sales in the Mahoning Valley were off last month from September 2020, yet dealers remain well ahead of the pace they set last year, according to the latest data from the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

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. 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. Mahoning Matters

Event of the day

Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren, will host a free Sweetest Day Dance at 7 p.m. featuring the W.D. Packard Concert Band.

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 mahoningmatters.com.

Story tips

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Let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful for you. Send your ideas and thoughts to mark@mahoningmatters.com. If you want to get this in your email inbox, sign up here.



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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