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Your Morning Matters: About last night ...

Ohioans got big news on fall sports during Gov. Mike DeWine's state briefing Tuesday — just not from DeWine.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, and I’m reminded today of the story of astronaut Alan Bean.

Do you know why every one of a certain age remembers the Apollo 11 moon walk but remembers almost nothing of Apollo 12? Well, Bean and Pete Conrad landed on the moon just four months after NASA’s inaugural moon landing in November 1969. Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, accidentally pointed the mission’s camera toward the sun, which burnt out a tube and left America with almost no live TV coverage of that lunar mission.

Last night, I had a marvelous conversation with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Bryant Youngblood, Dr. LaShale Pugh, Jaladah Aslam and Samantha Turner as we tackled the subject matter of “Racism as a Public Health Crisis in the Valley” for our Community Matters program that was to be broadcast on our Crowdcast channel and on our Facebook page.

Unfortunately, gremlins had other ideas, and as of this writing, we are left with calling tech support to find out what happened to our broadcast. Perhaps the camera was pointed at my bald head for too long …

This episode pains me, but I’m buoyed by the fact that hundreds of you attempted to join us after our first two successful Crowdcast efforts. I’m buoyed because a wonderful group of folks spoke from their hearts, and that’s exactly the kind of conversations we need to be having. I’m hopeful that we can get to the bottom of this. Stay tuned.

And let’s all be extremely careful out there.

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

Ohioans got big news on fall sports during Gov. Mike DeWine's state briefing Tuesday — just not from DeWine. 

In the middle of the briefing, the Big Ten Conference announced its decision to postpone the upcoming fall sports season. When told this, DeWine visibly reeled from the news. "As a football fan, and we have a lot of them, a lot of Buckeye fans, certainly it's not good news," he said.


  • In the U.S.: 5,074,656 confirmed cases; 165,421 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. Aug. 11.
  • In Ohio: 97,373 confirmed cases; 3,435 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 120,281 confirmed cases; 7,352 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 2,595 confirmed cases in Mahoning County; 1,549 in Trumbull; and 1,671 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 27,686.91, down 104.53 points, or 0.38 percent.

Other matters

Lashale Pugh says it wasn’t until she was 30 years old that she felt it was “OK to be Black.” Pugh, a medical geographer, was working for a phone company, and at a company conference, she noted the employees — the ones who “did everything; they ran all of it” — were Black. Pugh and others shared their perspectives and experiences on how systemic racism affects physical and mental health as part of the “Community Matters” series sponsored by Mahoning Matters.

Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods is celebrating its 60th year in business. The family-owned and operated company was founded in 1960 by three brothers, Howard, Richard and Paul Baird. Learn more and check out other news in today's Business Update. Mahoning Matters

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is collaborating with Flying High Inc.’s GROW Urban Farm and Lit’l Macs Food Store to provide fresh, local produce offerings. The Lit’l Macs convenience store on Parkman Road Northwest will have a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs beginning today. Mahoning Matters

The Ohio Supreme Court threw out an appeal from Douglas Bobovnyik to get on the ballot as an independent sheriff candidate, determining the Mahoning County Board of Elections didn’t abuse its authority when it refused to certify him. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

Austintown Township’s plans to hold a postponed July Fourth celebration has been called off entirely due to coronavirus restrictions. The township planned to have a "Freedom Weekend" in September to honor both Independence Day and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. WFMJ

TCF National Bank has completed its integration with Chemical Bank this week, retiring the Chemical brand and unveiling its new brand platform and ad campaign. The Business Journal [May encounter paywall.]

Penguin City Beer is asking the community for help finding its stolen delivery vehicle. The business’s 2015 Toyota Rav was stolen early Tuesday morning. It was full of beer and was about to go on some deliveries. WKBN

In case you missed it

Eighteen Mahoning Valley residents who are 30 and younger have been named 2020 Emerging Leader Justice and Equality People Helping People Award recipients. The Mahoning Valley Diversity Dinner planning committee honored them Aug. 2. Jon Howell and his wife, Adrienne, are heading the initiative along with the help of nearly 40 committee members. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Eastwood Mall.

Your comments matter

“When, may I ask, did this turn from “slow the spread” to eradicate the virus?”

Nikole Marie, on Columbiana County making the list of the 10 Ohio counties with the most new coronavirus cases per capita.

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

Opera Western Reserve’s new series, “OWR Presents,” begins at 7 p.m. tonight with “Summer Songs with Marian Vogel.” Accompanied by pianist Benjamin Malkevitch, Vogel, a regionally renowned soprano, performs a recital that was recorded in the Stambaugh Auditorium concert hall. The performance will be available for streaming for free. Click here for more information and a link.

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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