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Your Morning Matters: To Beer Day: Skál!

For the first time in weeks, measurements of coronavirus spread in Ohio’s 88 counties showed improvement.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It's Monday, March 1, 2021, and I'm back in the saddle in a glorious new month — Women's History Month — that will eventually feature a return to spring and even this very special holiday — Beer Day.

Well, its Beer Day in Iceland, which is celebrated every March 1 to mark the end of 74 years of prohibition that ended in 1989.

How do you celebrate Beer Day? Our friends over at Guide To Iceland note that "there are no big organized events or parties. ... Often bars will have beer promotions on this day, with exceptionally low prices. If you enjoy drinking beer, we suggest you join the locals and head to the nearest bar. Skál!"

And everyone in Iceland lived happily ever after, right?

Except in 2019 the Associated Press reported: "Alcohol abuse remains an issue. One in 10 Icelandic males over the age of 15 have been to rehab at least once in their lifetime, according to SAA, the country’s leading addiction treatment center."

And that's the downside of beer celebrations. And some are now concerned about how drinking patterns have changed in the U.S. in the past year.

According to, "In the 11 months since the pandemic began, drinking rates and alcohol sales have been steadily increasing. Doctors have been warning it's a concern, and some say we're already seeing the consequences, with alcoholic liver disease increasingly affecting people younger than 40."

So if you must celebrate Beer Day, please do it responsibly.

And let's be careful out there.

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

Gov. Mike DeWine is looking forward to spring. For the first time in weeks, measurements of coronavirus spread in Ohio’s 88 counties showed improvement, and DeWine expects to loosen pandemic restrictions this spring as a result. 

A handful of counties were downgraded to the state’s level 2 “orange” alert phase and are no longer considered to have a high incidence of spread. And average test positivity also has sunk to its lowest point in four months. "The whole goal here will be for all of us to get back to where we want to be — get back to what our life was before the pandemic," the governor said in a news conference Thursday.

Other matters

This week, columnist Liz Dreier discusses how nothing old can stay: “Going into the second year of this pandemic, I reached an all-time low last month when I started cleaning out closets.” Mahoning Matters

In today’s Business Updates, former Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell is being honored with the 2021 Meritorious Service Award, and Jersey Mike’s Subs in Boardman is teaming up with Project MKC for the 11th annual Month of Giving campaign to fund local charities. Mahoning Matters

CoreCivic Inc., a private prison in Youngstown, says it expects the United States Marshals Service will not renew a contract to house inmates once a current extension of the agreement expires in 90 days. WFMJ

Family and friends gathered at Packard Hall in Warren on Saturday to remember Trumbull County Sheriff Deputy Anthony Diehl Sr., who died suddenly at age 54. WKBN

Randy Schneider and Craig Cozza, co-owners of the new Renovatio’s Tap Room & Restaurant in downtown East Liverpool, hope the new enterprise will be the cornerstone of the city’s emergence from years of decline.  The Business Journal [May require registration.]

The Mahoning County and state health departments have determined the state website that reports the number of COVID-19 cases at nursing homes had an erroneous listing for the Woodlands Center for Rehab in Poland for seven weeks in January and February. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

Movers and Makers

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

“How wonderful for all of you.”

Sandy Rodkey, on six members of the Ursuline High School speech and debate team qualifying for the National Speech & Debate Association Tournament in June.

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

Youngstown State University’s Department of Visual & Dramatic Arts will open the "Small but Mighty" exhibition of student paintings in the Judith Rae Solomon Gallery on Bliss Hall’s second floor. The "Small but Mighty" exhibition, which runs through March 26, features small-scale paintings by students enrolled in intermediate and advanced painting classes. The exhibition will be available to view through the gallery windows weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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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