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Your Morning Matters: Oh, dear! Watch out for the deer

A U.S. Senate bill would expand eligibility for unemployment benefits to nearly 600,000 Ohio workers.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, and the nice folks at the AAA are warning us this is not just leaf and mouse season, but also deer collision season. "The number of deer-vehicle collisions increases during October, peaking in November and December," the AAA says. The reason you have to be careful? Since 2016, Ohio State Highway Patrol data shows, there have been more than 100,000 deer-related crashes across the state.

We did not need that warning in our household. The other evening we were driving along Washington Street in Boardman when we realized we were parallel with a deer running along the brush on the side of the road. My wife decided to outrun the deer by speeding up a little. I later googled the top speed of deer and found it is between 23 and 31 mph! The AAA actually warns that drivers should "slow down, and watch for other deer to appear. Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be more nearby." 

Great. Then you are trapped in your car surrounded by a deer gang. Other AAA tips:

• Be attentive, especially in the early morning and evening hours. "Many animals, especially deer, are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., prime commuting times for many."

• Resist the urge to swerve away from a collision. "Instead, stay in your lane with both hands firmly on the wheel. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something."

• If the crash is imminent, take your foot off of the brake. "During hard braking, the front end of your vehicle is pulled downward which can cause the animal to travel up over the hood [toward] your windshield."

And if you hit the deer, "Avoid making contact with the animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself,” the AAA said.

So many friends, relatives and co-workers have shared nightmare stories of bad vehicle/deer encounters. Let's be careful out there!

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

A U.S. Senate bill would expand eligibility for unemployment benefits to nearly 600,000 Ohio workers. The Unemployment Insurance Improvement Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, could lower the threshold for how much workers must be paid in order to qualify for benefits if they lose their job.

In Ohio, to qualify, a worker must be paid at least $280 per week and work at least 20 weeks of the year. To qualify for unemployment under the bill, workers would need to be paid at least $1,500 in a year and $1,000 in at least one quarter, compared with a minimum in Ohio of $5,600 in a year. What's at stake? Reporter Mary Schuermann Kuhlman has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 45,115,073 confirmed cases; 727,907 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 7 p.m. Oct. 19.
  • In Ohio: 1,503,102 confirmed or suspected cases; 23,616 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,517,231 confirmed or suspected cases; 30,587 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 30,400 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 22,617 in Trumbull; and 13,810 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 35,457.31, up 198.70 points, or 0.56%.

Other matters

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

Among the Valley entities featured in today's Business Updates are Direction Home of Eastern Ohio, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, Oak Hill Collaborative, Dalia's Caribbean Kitchen and Minority Business Outreach Initiative. Mahoning Matters

After paying $12.85 for eight chicken nuggets in a Chick-fil-A meal to be delivered to her door, a New Jersey woman is suing the Georgia-based fast food giant. Why? Mahoning Matters

Mahoning County Sheriff Deputy Edward Mitchell died Monday from complications related to COVID-19. WFMJ

Poland attorney John Zomoida will file a motion today seeking a temporary restraining order against Boardman Local Schools regarding their mask policy. WFMJ

Rick Billak, the former director of the Community Corrections Association, died from cancer Tuesday morning. WKBN

The Ohio Department of Transportation is looking to fill about 500 seasonal plow driver positions across the state as it prepares for the winter season. WKBN

New and sold house listings in the region, as well as the average sale price, were down in September in the 18-county region, which includes the Mahoning Valley. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

The firefighters union contract Youngstown City Council is expected to approve today comes with a $1.3 million price tag for the general fund. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn unveiled three new electric vehicles Monday: A luxury sedan, an SUV and an urban bus. Mahoning Matters

Event of the day

Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer at Netflix, will speak at 7 p.m. at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., as part of the Youngstown State University Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise lecture series. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of four per person. To order, 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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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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