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Your Morning Matters: It’s low-key election day!

Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohioans who reject the COVID-19 vaccine in spite of more contagious coronavirus variants are making a “high-risk gamble.”

It's Tuesday, May 4, 2021, and may the fourth be with you on Primary Election Day. There are not a lot of races but if you want to check out what's on the ballot and where to vote, check out our election guide.

While in one sense it is a low-key election day, the stakes are high tonight in the three-way Democratic Party battle between incumbent Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and challengers Julius Oliver and Ryan Kelly. It's hard to unseat an incumbent, but ANYTHING can happen in a three-way race with low voter turnout.

To that end, the Mahoning Matters team will publish election results live tonight and will keep you abreast of any developments. And since election board officials are predicting a low turnout among registered voters, we don’t expect a long night. But, then again, it’s politics in Mahoning County, so …

This is one of those busy days in history, beyond Star Wars and elections. In 1957, Salem High School Class of 1940 graduate Alan Freed hosted "The Big Beat" on ABC, the first nationally-televised rock ’n roll show. It’s the 51st anniversary of the Ohio National Guard killings at Kent State University which resulted in four student deaths including Boardman’s Sandy Scheuer. And today is my Dad’s birthday! Have a great day, Dad!

And how will you make today count?

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

Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohioans who reject the COVID-19 vaccine in spite of more contagious coronavirus variants are making a “high-risk gamble.” DeWine on Monday said officials have seen the number of new vaccinations statewide "go down dramatically."

That’s not just an Ohio problem. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poll referenced in a New York Times report shows about 30 percent of the U.S. population is still reluctant to get the jab. Reporter Justin Dennis takes a look at the impacts in the Valley.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 31,733,400 confirmed cases; 567,666 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 8 p.m. May 3.
  • In Ohio: 1,075,999 confirmed and suspected cases; 19,284 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,158,486 confirmed cases; 26,276 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 21,378 confirmed and suspected cases in Mahoning County; 15,951 in Trumbull; and 8,724 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 34,113.23, up 238.38 points, or 0.70 percent.

Other matters

The Youngstown Playhouse has established the Joseph E. Scarvell Youth Theatre Endowment Fund which will be managed by the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. Mahoning Matters

Federal health officials say people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely dabble in activities they enjoyed before the pandemic. But what about those who are not vaccinated and have recovered from the disease? We asked the experts. Mahoning Matters

Advocates hope their message of protecting children being a shared responsibility will strike a chord with Ohioans in May during Child Abuse Prevention Month and beyond. Mahoning Matters

Joseph Nohra, the former superintendent of the Liberty Local School District, is facing several felony charges according to an indictment handed up Monday by the Trumbull County Grand Jury. WFMJ

Donations are being accepted for a single mom and her two daughters who lost everything in a fire early Sunday morning in New Middletown. WKBN

Two commercial properties in prime areas of Boardman — including a former Pizza Hut — were sold Friday: one for $800,000 and another for $600,000. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

Mike Gibson, owner of Gibson Works Property Art LLC, will be one of seven contestants on the new reality TV show, “Clipped,” in which topiary artists from across the country compete to sculpt original mosaic designs. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

Lonardo’s Greenhouse in Boardman recently reopened its greenhouse for the 2021 spring season, just in time to grab mom some fresh flowers for Mother’s Day. Customers can choose from a variety of hanging flower baskets or flower pots for Mother’s Day, or treat mom to some homegrown produce. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Your comments matter

"Zero trust the machine’s working when I go 😂😩 "

Jamie Blott, on McDonald's offer of free McFlurries today.

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

Kent State University at Trumbull senior English student Valerie Dalrymple will present “It Starts with You: Promoting Peace and Civil Discourse in Our Lives” from 2 to 5 p.m. today.

The virtual program on peace includes a panel discussion on using rhetoric and communication to de-escalate situations and poetry presentations.

Dalrymple chose May 4 for the virtual event because of its historical context for Kent State University: the 1970 Ohio National Guard shootings at the Kent campus.

For more information or to register, click here.

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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