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Your Morning Matters: Liverpool Lou’s birthday

Nothing epitomizes the messy rollout of COVID-19 vaccines quite like the agonizing reality of wasted doses.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct that the Rev. David J. Bonnar is set to become the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown on Tuesday (Jan. 12).]

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, and on this day in 1937, Lou Holtz was born.

I was completely in the dark about the coach's ties to the Valley until I saw this excellent report by WKBN's Stan Bony back on Dec. 3 as Holtz was about to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It turns out, Holtz grew up in East Liverpool and is a Kent State alum, and I told Stan I'd share his report today.

One of the fascinating details I gleaned from Stan's report was the existence of the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in East Liverpool at the old First National Bank, 120 East Fifth St. While that website was down Tuesday, I did find a reference to it here, with a picture and a note that the hall "honors former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz and notable men and women of the upper Ohio Valley."

The good folks over at the East Liverpool Historical Society noted, "He is the only coach in the history of college football to: 1) take six different teams to a bowl game; 2) win five bowl games with different teams; and 3) have four different college teams ranked in the final top 20 poll."

Known best for his impressive, 11-year streak at the University of Notre Dame, Holtz also earned a rebuke from his old South Bend, Ind., stomping grounds last year after he referred to President-elect Joe Biden as a "Catholic in name only" during a speech on behalf of President Donald Trump during the Republican convention. 

"... Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart," Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins said, adding Holtz’s “use of the university’s name ... must not be taken to imply that the university endorses his views, any candidate or any political party."

Let's honor grace — and remain careful out there.

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

Nothing epitomizes the messy rollout of COVID-19 vaccines quite like the agonizing reality of wasted doses. During his Tuesday briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine described the case of a local nursing home that requested too many doses and had some left over. In its scramble to distribute the remainder, some doses were wasted.

As the state prepares to move into its much larger second priority group — older Ohioans, people with medical problems and school staff — Ohioans are looking to DeWine for the plans they've been promised.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 20,557,243 confirmed cases; 351,628 deaths, according to infection2020.com at 8 p.m. Jan. 5.
  • In Ohio: 735,003 confirmed or suspected cases; 9,247 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 673,915 confirmed cases; 16,546 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 15,399 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 11,250 in Trumbull; and 6,375 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 30,391.60, up 167.71 points, or 0.55 percent.

Other matters

The Rev. David J. Bonnar is set to become the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown Tuesday (Jan. 12). Due to the pandemic, the Mass of Ordination and Installation is not open to the public but will be televised and livestreamed. Mahoning Matters

Interim Director of Finance Kyle Miasek provided Youngstown City Council with a glimpse into the city's financial future this week during a meeting of the finance committee. “Everything hinges on recovery and employment,” he said. Mahoning Matters

Among the Valley institutions in today's Business Updates are Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell Ltd., Full Swing Golf Simulator Lounge, Burgan Real Estate, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center and the Mahoning Valley Safety Council. Mahoning Matters

The old Legal Arts Building’s developer plans to reopen a parking deck there next month at the facility near Central Square in downtown Youngstown. WKBN

Struthers-based Astro Shapes, a manufacturer of custom-finished aluminum extrusions, has been acquired by Monomoy Capital Partners. WFMJ

Recent property transactions that nearly double the size of land holdings by Ultium Cells LLC — the joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem that is building an electric-vehicle battery plant in Lordstown — is raising speculation that the company has additional development plans for the site. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

Ron Massullo has retired as deputy director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections. The Democrat said the job was exhausting, particularly this past year between the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidential election. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

The city of Youngstown may find itself in a new year, but after a violent holiday weekend, it faces an old problem. From New Year's Eve through Jan. 2, shootings left two dead and at least two injured. That left city officials scrambling to explain the violence and the steps needed to curb it in the year ahead. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“Will miss the Landmark. Best breakfast in town. Sorry to see you go!”

Lauren Pasquine, on a report that Landmark Restaurant will close after the building's owner sold the property

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