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Your Morning Matters: More about last night’s big show

Both candidates seeking the role of Mahoning County’s top lawman have worked to root out corruption in the county.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, and last night was 90 minutes of nonstop political information and intrigue at the Stambaugh Auditorium.

We hope you were able to tune in. If you somehow missed our “Community Matters” livestream event, "The Valley Votes: What to Expect Next," you can find the show right now on Stambaugh Auditorium's YouTube page, the Mahoning Matters Facebook page and Stambaugh's new smartphone and smartTV app, "The Digital Concert Hall."

And while putting that kind of a program together feels a bit like a full-time job on top of a full-time job, which really feels like a job and a half on my end, that complex of a live production simply could not be possible without the amazing team at Stambaugh, led by JoAnn Stock, chief development officer, and Matt Pagac, chief executive and operating officer. 

Since our partnership, they have really added a whole new dimension of professionalism to our virtual events. Before Stambaugh, it was just me at a kitchen table with my Mac — it’s not like the bar was all that high, to be fair. But as I like to tell them, going to the Stambaugh was like going from the Wright brothers’ first plane to the Apollo lunar module in a matter of weeks.

And it takes a lot of other folks behind the scenes, from Shay Totten and Jeremy Harper on our team, to Courtney Greene, Dani Dier, Jamie Marshall, Travis Beatty, JanCarlos Lebrón, Brandon Maffit, Marleen Ochletree and Brandon Ritchie at the Stambaugh.

Everyone, take a bow! Job well done. 

Meanwhile, we’d like to have an actual audience at some point. Yet, the coronavirus is raging again. Let’s all do our part, mask up and let’s be careful out there.

Now, here's what you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:

Both candidates seeking the role of Mahoning County’s top lawman have worked to root out corruption in the county.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains, the longtime Democratic incumbent, first took office in the mid-1990s and revealed a countywide case-fixing scandal involving the sitting county prosecutor. Republican challenger Marty Desmond, a former Mahoning County prosecutor, said he believes he has prosecuted more criminal cases involving gangs and racketeering than any other assistant county prosecutor.

Both also spoke at length with reporter Justin Dennis.


  • In the U.S.: 8,206,867 confirmed cases; 221,934 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. Oct. 21.
  • In Ohio: 188,005 confirmed or suspected cases; 5,149 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 186,297 cases; 8,562 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 3,660 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 2,247 in Trumbull; and 2,114 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 28,210.82, down 97.97 points, or 0.35 percent.

Other matters

As I mentioned, Mahoning Matters moderated discussions between representatives from three hotly contested races for another installment of our “Community Matters” series, “The Valley Votes: What to Expect Next” on Wednesday night. It wasn’t always polite, but a lot of information was exchanged from candidates and veteran political observers.

The printing and mailing of 2.4 million delayed ballots across Ohio and Pennsylvania is all caught up, the vendor responsible for the backlog announced. Cleveland-based Midwest Direct said in a statement that extra staff, expanded hours and added equipment were required to meet the “staggering volume of mail-in ballot requests for this election.” Mahoning Matters

The Mahoning County Land Bank is selling a commercial property at public auction for the first time. The 23,187-square-foot building at 220 Hubbard Road includes warehouse and office space and sits on 2.92 acres. Online bidding has started at $30,000. Mahoning Matters

The city of Warren released its schedule for picking up fall leaves through the month of November. Curbside leaf collection will take place Nov. 2 to 27. WKBN

A bridge on North State Street in Girard was renamed Tuesday as the Purple Heart Veterans Bridge to honor recipients of the Purple Heart. This is the 10th bridge in Trumbull County to be renamed to memorialize veterans. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

Deer me! Trumbull County has the fourth-highest rate of deer-involved crashes in recent years. From 2015 to 2019, the county recorded 2,122 accidents involving deer. Only Stark, Richland and Lorain counties reported more deer-involved crashes during that period. WFMJ

The Western Reserve Port Authority approved a $938,000 contract with J. Herbert Construction for site improvements to the former Chemical Bank property, which will include construction of a Dunkin’ restaurant at 3900 Market St. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

In case you missed it

When asked to respond to Ohioans who wish he was doing more to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday, "I ask myself that question every single day. I ask myself what else we can do." He said, "It is within our capacity to change the future," while also calling mask laws unenforceable. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“I thought GM said cars don't sell well, only trucks and SUVs.”

Kenneth P. Hall, on the new Cadillac LYRIQ being the first electric vehicle produced at GM's plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. About 400 former GM Lordstown workers transferred to the Tennessee plant even before the automaker announced the Lordstown plant's closure.

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 Mahoning Valley Historical Society will debut its “Strolling Through Oak Hill Cemetery” video presentation on the MVHS YouTube channel at noon. Frank Rulli, MVHS board member and local architect, and Traci Manning, MVHS curator of education, will be co-presenters of the video presentation, which highlights the architectural and cultural history of the cemetery.

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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