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Your Morning Matters: “Keeping the Faith” is our plan

Today we introduce “Keeping the Faith,” a dose of positivity and spirituality from the Rev. Lewis W. Macklin.

Good morning and welcome to Your Morning Matters.

It’s Friday, March 27, 2020, and as another week comes to a close, I think we all feel our faith tested more every day.

We sent out a mass mailing last week and we received lots of great ideas. Mark (a different one) wrote, "I think everyone could use some positive news stories." Another reader requested more spirituality, noting, “Lord knows we need it.”

By last Friday, I had a plan. I knew a perfect embodiment of positivity and spirituality. I’ve casually known the Rev. Lewis W. Macklin from the old Vindicator days. He was a great go-to source on many issues. He always had time to share a smile when he’d visit the newsroom en route to a guest spot on the Louie Free “Brainfood from the Heartland” program. Over the years I learned the Rev. Mac had a sharp mind, a tremendous heart and a great sense of humor. 

So I cold-called him and told him we needed him. And “Keeping the Faith” was born. 

We’ll be adding more voices in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, keep those great ideas coming. And thank you to folks who are tipping us to the unsung heroes. We are getting some great stories. Keep them coming:

Be safe this weekend! Let’s all be careful out there.

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

“You cannot even fathom the initial trepidation I sensed when approached to consider sharing messages to encourage, empower and embolden us during these unsettling times," the Rev. Lewis W. Macklin writes in "Keeping the Faith" today. "Yet, I know in this unprecedented season, we need faith more than fear, peace before panic, calmness instead of chaos and, yes, to seek both hope and help."


  • In the U.S.: 85,689 confirmed cases; 1,292 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. March 26.
  • In Ohio: 867 confirmed cases; 15 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 1,687 confirmed cases; 16 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 51 confirmed cases in Mahoning County; 12 in Trumbull County; and five in Columbiana County.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 22,552.17, up 1,351.62 points, or 6.38 percent.

Other matters

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton on Thursday gave a first look at the state's coronavirus "curve." She said it's not a question of whether the virus will surge — but when. The state projects it could see between 6,000 and 8,000 new cases each day when the virus hits its peak. Mahoning Matters

$250 for a 2-liter bottle of hand sanitizer? Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has joined 32 other attorneys general in urging Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Walmart and Craigslist to more rigorously fight price gouging by online sellers using their services. Mahoning Matters

Mahoning County received its first shipment of medical supplies from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile. Emergency Management director Dennis O’Hara said part of that initial shipment of gloves, gowns and masks was distributed to local hospitals. WKBN

Salem Regional Medical Center is accepting donations of equipment needed to treat patients. So far, the hospital has received clinical exam gloves, respirators and a few N-95 face masks. WFMJ

Access to food during the coronavirus pandemic was the top concern in Trumbull County, followed by help with rent or mortgage payments and access to childcare, a survey by United Way of Trumbull County showed. The Business Journal

Effective Thursday, the city of Struthers has a curfew. Declaring a state of emergency, the nightly curfew will be from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., Mayor Catherine Miller said in an executive order. The Vindicator

In case you missed it

A coronavirus relief bill on the desk of Gov. Mike DeWine includes a measure to keep Youngstown City School District in the hands of the state — for now. HB 197 extends academic distress commissions and CEOs of failing school districts through the 2020-2021 school year. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“Nope! Current system works. Request an absentee ballot if you can’t vote in person.”

Judy Hendricks, on state Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown and Beth Liston of Dublin introducing legislation that would create a universal vote-by-mail system in Ohio.

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

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