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Your Morning Matters: Join us March 10

If you’re eligible for the coronavirus vaccine but haven’t yet been able to set your appointment, Gov. Mike DeWine says now may be the right time.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Tuesday, March 2, 2021, and the team is preparing for our next virtual discussion as part of our Community Matters series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.

Reporter Justin Dennis will lead a terrific panel during “The Kids Are Alright? Getting Back to School In the COVID Age.” Among the panelists joining us:

  • Justin Jennings, Youngstown City Schools CEO;
  • Traci Hostetler, Mahoning County Educational Service Center executive director;
  • Bill Amendol, Boardman Local Schools music teacher and OEA representative.

Few institutions have been more visible — and torn in more directions — at Ground Zero of the COVID-19 pandemic as our Valley’s schools. As well, few have had as much impact on the daily lives of so many families during the past year. As always, we’ll be taking your questions for the panel before the event and live that night as well. 

We are also looking for parents with some insight on the past year’s experiences of virtual schooling, hybrid, etc. Contact me at if you are interested or have a question we should direct at the panel.

And speaking of special days — and really, no one was — I want to say happy birthday to all those special folks born on this day, especially my wife, Mary! 

Make this day count!

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

If you’re eligible for the coronavirus vaccine but haven’t yet been able to set your appointment, Gov. Mike DeWine says now may be the right time. With a new influx of coronavirus vaccine doses expected to arrive soon, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to those age 60 and older and others with serious medical conditions.

Mahoning County Public Health, however, is still not accepting preregistrations for appointments after closing them last month due to “overwhelming demand.” Other private providers surveyed by Mahoning Matters following DeWine’s Monday afternoon announcement either had no open appointment slots or available doses. Reporter Justin Dennis has the details.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 28,659,784 confirmed cases; 514,333 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine at 9 p.m. Feb. March 1.
  • In Ohio: 968,874 confirmed and suspected cases; 17,346 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 933,270 confirmed cases; 24,026 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 19,444 confirmed and suspected cases in Mahoning County; 14,315 in Trumbull; and 8,120 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 31,535.51, up 603.14 points, or 1.95 percent.

Other matters

Taken for a RIDE? Ohio Congressional members on Monday urged President Joe Biden to halt the U.S. Postal Service’s $6 billion contract award to a Wisconsin-based company to develop the next generation of USPS fleet vehicles. Mahoning Matters

The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus deal and sent it to the Senate. What happens next? We have some answers. Mahoning Matters

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, a headlining Metropolitan Opera soloist, will lead Wednesday's event in the 2020-21 Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series at Youngstown State University’s Cliffe College of Creative Arts. Mahoning Matters

Shades of Woody Hayes: YSU assistant coach Tim Johnson will not be permitted on the sidelines for the remainder of the season after an incident Sunday afternoon involving him and a player from Northern Iowa. WKBN

What would you have done? When a man wearing a mask handed over a note that read “This is a robbery” to an employee at a Premier Bank branch in Austintown, she told police that her reply was, “No way!” WFMJ

American Legion Post 301 leaders want to see banners hanging from utility poles in Austintown commemorating veterans in time for Memorial Day. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

Want fries with that? TravelCenters of America has announced the sale of all Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants for $5 million to an undisclosed buyer. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

Difference Makers

Youngstown native Chris Gunther grew up with the goal to be one of the biggest media personalities in the world. Now, he’s working to make that dream a reality with his own local, web-based interview show. Mahoning Matters

In case you missed it

DNA Professional Detailing owner Anthony Young took the skills he learned while working for Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver at Kingly Xpress Hand Wash & Wax and started his own business in 2012. Now that he has moved into his new location in downtown Youngstown, his journey has come full circle. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Your comments matter


Sharon Terrell, on the Rev. Lewis Macklin’s Sunday column, in which he wrote: “Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, in darkness or irritated, you are in a powerful place of transformation. Remember, you are somebody because God doesn’t make junk!”

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

The McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave., Youngstown, is presenting the exhibition “Skin” by Max Markwald, who uses figurative realism to highlight queer voices and document his gender transition. As part of the Scribe literary collaborative, the exhibition is accompanied by journals created by YSU students and community members. The booklets contain written and visual art inspired by themes presented in Markwald’s work. The exhibition will be on display through April 2. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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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