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Your Morning Matters: Of Campbell, Camp Bell and camels ...

The city of Youngstown is taking another look at its plan to control sewage overflows.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, and every place I've lived — from Illinois to New York to Florida to Ohio — has been beset by odd local pronunciations of city names. It's often the best way to tell the locals from the newbies or tourists.

As a person who has moved around a bit throughout his life, I've had to adjust. I grew up in Ottawa, Ill., after all, and we all thought it was perfectly normal to pronounce the name of the neighboring town of Marseilles as "MAR-sales."

You know, just like the Treaty of “VER-sales.”

When we moved to Florida in the early 2000s, we realized that we were pronouncing the name of one of our favorite Florida cities, Kissimmee, all wrong. It was "KUH-sim-EE" despite the prominent “KISS.”

I grew up in Illinois enjoying Campbell Soup for lunch. We all know how that's pronounced, right? Then I moved to New York where the local pronunciation of the town of Campbell there was "CAMP-BELL" as if it was spelled “Camp Bell.” Then we moved to the Mahoning Valley and discovered the city of Campbell was pronounced like the animal, "camel."

I may never recover from the first harsh correction I received in the Valley when I did not pronounce it "camel." After a few such reprimands, I rebelled and in The Vindicator newsroom I chose to pronounce the name of the Youngstown State University coaching legend as Jim "tress-SELL" like Howard "coe-SELL." 

Mostly, people were just confused. But if someone was going to sully the fine name of a popular soup on a whim, two can play at that game. The rebellion was short-lived after Tressel became YSU president and, also, my boss in my adjunct professor role.

I'm curious about your city pronunciation experiences. Share them at And let's make today count.

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

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. “The money we received doesn't even come close to the cost of our [long-term control] plan,” Councilwoman Lauren McNally said. Reporter Diana Kruzman has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 45,209,552 confirmed cases; 731,127 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 7 p.m. Oct. 20.
  • In Ohio: 1,507,676 confirmed or suspected cases; 23,616 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,520,815 confirmed cases; 30,721 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, up 152.03 points, or 0.43%.

Other matters

Among the Valley standouts featured in today's Business Updates are Coldwell Banker EvenBay Real Estate, JCPenney, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Gracylane. Mahoning Matters

The new Ohio Redistricting Commission, facing an Oct. 31 deadline to redraw the state’s congressional district maps, is receiving the same criticism from Democratic lawmakers as it did during the state legislative map-drawing process. Mahoning Matters

Texas Roadhouse has started a new tuition reimbursement initiative for employees interested in pursuing a college degree. The restaurant has locations in Youngstown and Warren. WKBN

A decision is not expected until next week after a lawsuit was filed Wednesday by a parent group opposed to Boardman Local Schools’ mask mandate. WKBN

Christine Smith, the operator of several local Dairy Queens in the Valley, said bids are being sought for the construction of a new restaurant on property across from Akron Children’s Hospital on Market Street. WFMJ

Newton Falls Law Director Joseph Fritz and police Chief Gene Fixler were placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday pending an investigation, according to a statement from City Manager Pamela S. Priddy. WFMJ

The Hubbard Board of Education on Tuesday voted 3-1 to extend a mask mandate until further notice. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

After a year of uncertainty, commercial real estate agents in the region hope that trends they notice with office space indicate a comeback for that sector. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

In this week's "An Inclusive Table," column, Eartha Hopkins has advice for would-be mentors out there: "Nowadays, it must be understood that mentorship can be good for everyone involved, and it can also be good for business.” Mahoning Matters

Event of the day

The Millennial Theatre Company will present an immersive production of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show” at 7 p.m. today and 7 p.m. and midnight Friday and Saturday at B&O Station Banquet Hall, 530 Mahoning Ave. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Each performance will feature audience participation and a costume contest with prizes. Prop bags will be available for $10. No outside props will be permitted. A cash bar will be provided. Masks are required for all audience members, regardless of vaccination status.

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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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