Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.
It’s Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, and welcome to "It's just a normal Wednesday!" In the mostly overlooked 1998 song "Wednesday Morning," the band America told us:
I've been waiting every evening
Wondering what I'm gonna say
Sometimes life can be deceiving
Wednesday won't go away.
Hoping Wednesday would go away has summed up every Wednesday so far this year (of which today is the fourth). Today, let's take Wednesday back by flooding it with normal!
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing right now, use that phone in your hand and take a picture (or video) of NORMAL. We don't care how boring or routine your normal is. The only rules: It can't reflect an insurrection, impeachable offenses or some consequence of an inauguration.
Reader Dwight mused yesterday: "What if my normal routine is just watching the internet to see what is going to happen next?" Hey, Dwight. That's MY job. Another reader inquires: "What's normal these days?" Great question. Go find it!
While, of course, we are ever-vigilant to report anything that might portend news, we'll also post our staff musings and whatever folks send us to document everything normal today. Send your normal to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Let’s be, uhm, normal out there.
And here are more of the things you need to know about what's happening in the Mahoning Valley:
After Gov. Mike DeWine pledged concurrent coronavirus vaccinations for Ohio’s most vulnerable as well as the state’s school faculty and staff, Tuesday’s news that President Joe Biden’s administration intends to boost the vaccine rollout nationwide may be the shot in the arm Ohio needs.
Biden also announced an additional 1.4 million vaccine doses would be distributed each week across the country — up from 8.6 million doses to a minimum of 10 million — at least for the next three weeks. Biden also pledged to increase the nation’s vaccine order from 400 million to 600 doses, enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans.
- In the U.S.: 24,970,600 confirmed cases; 417,772 deaths, according to infection2020.com at 9 p.m. Jan. 26.
- In Ohio: 872,918 confirmed or suspected cases; 10,856 deaths.
- In Pennsylvania: 812,495 confirmed cases; 20,833 deaths.
- In the Mahoning Valley: 17,561 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 12,980 in Trumbull; and 7,433 in Columbiana.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 30,937.04, down 22.96 points, or 0.074 percent.
Youngstown State University is focusing spring semester efforts on more COVID-19 testing and vaccines. “My goal would be if everybody that wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated by June,” President Jim Tressel said. “I think that would bode well for us for the fall.” Mahoning Matters
The titans of Valley entities featured in today’s Business Updates include Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance, Next Level Fitness Academy, Aqua Ohio, BRITE Energy Innovators, 898 Marketing and the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. Mahoning Matters
Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley is collaborating with the Ohio National Guard to host another Traveling Food Pantry food distribution at Yankee Lake at 10 a.m. Thursday. Mahoning Matters
Warren Civic Music has announced it is postponing the March 23 Divas 3 performance and the April 20 Gatlin Brothers concert because social distancing mandates significantly limit the seating capacity at Packard Music Hall. WFMJ
Stocks for Lordstown Motors Corp. (RIDE) and Workhorse Group (WKHS) surged after President Joe Biden announced Monday he intends to have the entire federal fleet of vehicles be electric powered. The Business Journal [May require registration.]
Mahoning Avenue, one of the busiest streets on the city’s West Side, will undergo two significant improvement projects starting in 2022, including the replacement of 10 traffic lights as well as sidewalk improvements and new curb ramps. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]
The Home Savings Charitable Foundation is now the Premier Bank Foundation. The announcement follows the merger last year of Home Savings Bank and First Federal Bank of the Midwest to form Premier. WKBN
In case you missed it
Within minutes of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s surprise Monday announcement that he won’t seek re-election to a third term in 2022, Ohio's political landscape once again began to evolve. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said he is "looking seriously at it." Mahoning Matters
Your comments matter
“I bet if nobody had ‘crushed their dreams, wasted their talents and jeopardized their futures’ to begin with, there never would have been a reason for a ‘Youngstown Plan.’”
— Jim Mosier, on state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan saying she will co-sponsor legislation during this General Assembly to end the Youngstown Plan and restore local control to school districts. “We must liberate the thousands of kids who are trapped in a failed, malevolent experiment that crushes their dreams, wastes their talents and jeopardizes their futures,” Lepore-Hagan said.
Event of the day
Composer and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer will offer the first virtual performance of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series for Youngstown State University's spring semester. The presentation, which will be available on the Cliffe College of Creative Arts’ YouTube channel, will include prerecorded music, a conversation and a question-and-answer session.
Is there a story you think we should know about? Please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.