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Your Morning Matters: A holiday weekend? Really?

Restaurant staff and customers are taking cautious first steps toward "normal."

Good morning and welcome to Your Morning Matters.

It’s Friday, May 22, 2020, and, believe it or not, it’s the first big holiday weekend of the summer (almost) season. It’s also a solemn occasion to remember those who died while serving our country.

So while parades have been canceled and ceremonies have become virtual, let’s make an extra effort to reflect on those military heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I’ve heard a lot about sacrifice lately. Some folks believe that they’ve “sacrificed” by sitting in an easy chair for two months watching their roots get exposed, unable to hang out at their favorite bar. 

I’ve been a fan of vet Paul Rieckhoff since I read “Chasing Ghosts,” his book about his Iraq War experiences. He told Fox News recently: “... in comparison to what our frontline heroes are facing, most of us have it easy. I always remind my boys that there are some folks who have it much harder than we do. Our nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, military folks — they are all giving up so much for the rest of us.”

His organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, annually asks us to “Go Silent” on Memorial Day. You can find the pledge here. It’s a small way to keep heroes in mind.

Meanwhile, a couple of quick takes:

  • In order to better support our burgeoning weekend readership, we are moving some features. Now, you’ll be able to find the Rev. Lewis Macklin’s popular column “Keeping the Faith” on Sunday.
  • Because of the holiday, there will be no morning newsletter Monday. The afternoon and obituary newsletters will continue unabated, however.

Have a safe weekend! Let’s all be careful out there!

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

On Thursday — the first day of indoor dining in Ohio — the wait staff at The Riser Tavern and Grill in Boardman wore matching shirts that read “We Are All Risers.” 

“It’s about being in a bad situation and rising and getting out of it,” owner Lisa Lorelli said. “We are all risers. We all go through our tough times. We all get through it.” From The Riser to Station Square Ristorante on Belmont Avenue, restaurant staff and customers are taking cautious first steps at rising to "normal."


  • In the U.S.: 1,588,454 confirmed cases; 95,425 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. May 21.
  • In Ohio: 28,174 confirmed cases; 1,653 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 65,392 confirmed cases; 4,869 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 1,277 confirmed cases in Mahoning County; 499 in Trumbull County; and 467 in Columbiana County.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 24,474.12, down 101.78 points, or 0.41 percent.

Other matters 

Gov. Mike DeWine announced a preliminary report on how COVID-19 is impacting communities of color, including expansions in access to testing and data on the availability of resources in those communities, noting, "These truly are life and death issues." Mahoning Matters

Ohio groups seeking ballot measures for November won't have to go door-to-door looking for support. A federal judge ruled that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state must allow petition signatures to be gathered electronically. Mahoning Matters

Canfield Local Schools board members will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday (May 26) during a special meeting. Board President David Wilkeson previously stated the board wanted to hire a new superintendent by May 31. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

A $9.2 million project to improve U.S. Route 224 will begin Wednesday (May 27). The project includes resurfacing of Route 224 between SR 11 and I-680, as well as SR 625 from Route 224 to just north of Tippecanoe Road. WKBN

Three Liberty Township firefighters are under internal investigation after claims state that firefighters were using, buying and selling prescription drugs while on the job, according to Liberty police Chief Toby Meloro. WFMJ

Danny Lee Hill, the man accused of killing 12-year-old Raymond Fife in 1985, will not be put to death after a ruling from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Court documents say the Court of Appeals found overwhelming evidence that Hill is disabled. WFMJ

Through both rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration reports 128,316 Ohio businesses have secured a combined $18.39 billion in funding. The Business Journal

In case you missed it

Though rapid, “finger-stick” blood tests are able to indicate, within minutes, whether a patient has developed antibodies to coronavirus, some have reason to be skeptical of those results. We asked experts to help us understand. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“I hope things work out better in Ohio. We opened here in Arkansas last week. Unfortunately, no one is showing up at the restaurants. A restauranteur I know said he was better off remaining take-out only. Nothing but difficult decisions going forward.”

Suzanne Newton Kathro, on Ohio restaurants being permitted to offer indoor dining again.

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

Stambaugh Auditorium is presenting a weekly digital watch event featuring past performances. At 7 p.m. tonight, the featured performance is the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band’s first concert of the 2018-19 season. For more digital watch events, 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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